Skip to content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

The Link between Smoking and Mesothelioma You Didn’t Know About

Smoking and Mesothelioma as Risk Factors

Thanks to mass awareness campaigns, most know that smoking increases the chances of developing lung cancer later in life. But did you know that smoking is linked to pleural mesothelioma, too?

Defining and identifying pleural mesothelioma

Researchers have discovered that smoking and asbestos exposure combined significantly increase your chances of developing pleural mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the lining of the chest wall and lungs. It accounts for 80 to 90 percent of all mesothelioma cases. This disease also has a low survival rate; only 6.7 percent of patients diagnosed between the ages of 65 and 74 live another five years.

Pleural mesothelioma’s symptoms are very similar to lung cancer and include shortness of breath and chest pain. Because of this, mesothelioma is sometimes misdiagnosed as lung cancer.

Asbestos exposure and smoking as combined risk factors

Exposure to asbestos is the leading risk factor for developing mesothelioma. Asbestos is fibrous insulating material that was widely used in several industries throughout the 20th century. Despite knowing the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma, companies heavily used asbestos in their products for decades.

As a result, millions of hardworking Americans were exposed to copious amounts of asbestos at their workplace, putting them at risk for developing mesothelioma 10 to 50 years later. If these workers also smoked, their chances of developing pleural mesothelioma double.

Smoking alone does not put you at risk for developing mesothelioma; you must also have been exposed to asbestos at some point.

Asbestos in cigarette filters

From 1952 to 1956, a tobacco product was manufactured with asbestos as a main ingredient and distributed to the public: Kent Micronite filtered cigarettes. The filters in these cigarettes contained a type of asbestos known as crocidolite.

They were marketed as a safe alternative to other cigarette filters. Unfortunately, crocidolite is the most dangerous form of asbestos. With only two puffs of this cigarette, a smoker would have inhaled 170,000 asbestos fibers, significantly increasing their chance for developing mesothelioma decades later.

Recent Blog Posts

Woman pulled over by a police officer

What is the “Move Over Law” in Illinois? (And Why Is It Important?)

All of us have been there: You’re driving down the highway and see a police car on the side of the road that has just pulled another vehicle over (like in the photo above). For many of us, we instinctively slow down or attempt to move over a lane to give the police officer more…
Man Thinking on the Sidewalk in the Dark

3 Things You Should Do (And Not Do) After a Truck Accident

Someone injured in a truck accident often has very little knowledge of and zero experience with the civil justice system. Usually, it’s a confusing time for them. They’re not sure what they should (and should not) do after the crash. Their medical bills are piling up. The trucking company’s insurance claims department won’t stop calling…
Photo of Truck Underride Guard

Why Do Semis Have a Metal Bar Hanging from the Back of the Trailer?

If you’ve ever been stuck behind a semi-tractor trailer on a highway, you have probably noticed a long steel bar hanging off the back of the trailer. What is exactly the purpose of the bar? Well, it’s actually one of the most important safety features on the trailer. Those steel bars hanging from the truck’s…