Baron and Budd Warns Asbestos-Caused Mesothelioma Risk Greatly Worsened By Tobacco Use: Stop Smoking!

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Asbestos Risk Combined with Smoking Habit Asks for Double Trouble, Incites Deadly Cancer

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Newly available conclusions from a Queen’s College study in New York reiterate that two added factors— smoking and/or asbestosis— dramatically increase the risk of developing mesothelioma and other asbestos cancers following asbestos exposure. Lead author Steven B. Markowitz (MD, PhD) is a Professor of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences at Queens College. In the 30+-year study of a large cohort (selected population) of asbestos-exposed US insulation workers and nearly 55,000 North American male workers, Markowitz explains the study was contingent on following chosen subjects who, at the outset, had never previously been exposed to asbestos.

Over three decades, Markowitz says, “We found that each [single] individual risk factor was associated with increased risk of developing lung cancer, while the combination of two risk factors further increased the risk, and the combination of all three risk factors increased the risk of developing lung cancer almost 37-fold.” The three factors to which he is referring are asbestos exposure, smoking, and asbestosis ( (Note: Asbestosis is a respiratory ailment resulting from scarred, thickened lung tissue developing as the body attempts to repair lungs after exposure to toxic carcinogens such as asbestos or tobacco. Common symptoms are coughing and impaired breathing.)

To be exact, 2,377 North American insulators and 54,243 male workers— initially having no prior contact with asbestos— were followed for over 30 years after their lifestyles changed with the introduction of asbestos contact. According to Markowitz: “Among nonsmokers, asbestos increased the rate of dying from lung cancer 5.2-fold, while the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure increased the death rate more than 28-fold. Asbestosis increased the risk of developing lung cancer among asbestos-exposed subjects— in both smokers and nonsmokers— with the death rate from lung cancer increasing 36.8-fold among asbestos-exposed smokers with asbestosis” (see

In asbestos-exposed insulators who kicked the smoking habit, mortality rates dropped nearly half by the 10-year mark, from 177 deaths per 10,000 to 90 deaths per 10,000. Lung cancer in insulators who stopped smoking 30 years earlier regained pink lungs (as opposed to black), similar to virgin lungs of those who never smoked. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) estimates lungs may return from black to pink as soon as 15 years after quitting smoking (

Baron and Budd mesothelioma law firm president and managing shareholder Russell Budd, says, “The Queens College investigation offers a definitive long-term look into the different behaviors capable of increasing or reducing deadly risk of asbestos cancer, no matter how brief the asbestos exposure. But no matter what previous damage the body has incurred, the single best way to minimize asbestos inhalation is to stop also inhaling tobacco smoke,” Budd says.

The Queens College study’s extended look at how “multiple mechanisms” can escalate the development of asbestos-related cancers such as mesothelioma is significant, but the most stunning realization is that cessation of smoking dramatically reduces asbestos cancer incidence among 50,000+ US subjects who have ingested asbestos on the job. Based on this survey and countless others with similar intent, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) asserts it is undeniable that tobacco smoking and asbestos have a synergistic effect on the formation of lung cancer.

Baron and Budd, PC, national mesothelioma law firm recognized for its nearly 40-year success in defending mesothelioma patients and others affected by asbestos exposure keeps a close watch on new develops in mesothelioma and lung cancer.

About Baron & Budd, P.C.
Baron & Budd has been “Protecting What’s Right” for asbestos sufferers and their families for more than 35 years. As one of the first law firms to successfully litigate an asbestos lawsuit, Baron & Budd continues actively standing for military veterans, industry workers, and others who are sick as a result of asbestos exposure. The firm relentlessly urges the US to stop importing asbestos from Brazil and join the Global Ban on Asbestos. Contact Baron and Budd (day or night) at 1.866.855.1229 for additional information on mesothelioma treatments, mesothelioma cancer doctors, treatment centers, and mesothelioma attorneys. Or visit

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Amanda Theaker, Marketing
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