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Smoking Increases the Risk of Asbestos Lung Cancer, But It Is Not the Cause of It

Posted on 16th June, 2021

by Legal Staff

One of the most frequent questions we receive from victims of asbestos exposure concerns tobacco smoking.

Accordingly, people with a history of asbestos exposure often wonder whether they are still entitled to financial compensation if they were smokers at the time their toxic exposure occurred.

The good news is that individuals whose health was affected by asbestos exposure can recover compensation for their diagnosis if it was the asbestos that damaged their lungs and not the cigarettes. In fact, it is quite easy to determine whether the lung disease of a person is the consequence of asbestos exposure or tobacco smoking. A simple chest X-ray will reveal whether the person has asbestos fibers in their lungs and, if they do, they become eligible for compensation.

It is essential to know that, when it comes to lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure, tobacco smoking only increases the likelihood of the person developing it. Therefore, it is not the cause of it. Someone who was exposed to asbestos and who was or is a smoker has a 50% to 80% higher risk of coming to struggle with lung cancer. Thereby, while smoking is not the primary cause of asbestos lung cancer, it is without a doubt a significant contributing factor. On the other hand, tobacco smoking has not been found to influence the development of mesothelioma. Furthermore, smoking has been found to increase the chances of developing the following diseases caused by asbestos exposure:

How Does Smoking Contribute to the Development of Asbestos Lung Cancer?

There are multiple ways in which tobacco smoking increases your chances of developing lung cancer or another pulmonary disease if you have a history of asbestos exposure, such as:

  • tobacco smoking impairs the natural ability of the lungs to self-clean: the airways of the lungs are lined with cilia, tiny brush-like structures whose purpose is to keep your lungs clean and, when you smoke, the cilia are severely damaged, which makes it more difficult for them to expel foreign bodies such as asbestos fibers
  • the inflammation and scarring of your lungs is worsened by smoking: both tobacco smoking and the inhalation of asbestos fibers create inflammation and scar tissue in your lungs, which makes you prone to developing serious diseases such as lung cancer
  • smoking decreases the ability of the lungs to absorb oxygen: the alveoli, which are the small air sacs of the lungs whose purpose is to carry oxygen to the bloodstream, are also damaged by tobacco smoking, and this increases breathing difficulty caused by scar or cancer tissue in your lungs

According to a 2013 study, asbestos exposure and tobacco smoking have a synergistic effect on lung cancer death rates. While occupational asbestos exposure was found to result in a lung cancer death rate 5 times higher than the average, when smoking was also present, the lung cancer death rate increased by 28 times.

In the regrettable case that you have lung cancer as a consequence of asbestos exposure, regardless of whether you are or were a smoker, we strongly advise you to contact Atraxia Law, as you may be eligible for compensation. For over 35 years, our team of experts has been evaluating personal injury and product liability claims and is ready to help you determine whether you can seek financial compensation for your diagnosis.

File a Claim for Asbestos Lung Cancer with Our Expert Assistance

Atraxia Law provides quality assistance to victims of asbestos exposure. If your health was affected by exposure to asbestos, we can help you find out whether you are entitled to financial compensation from the responsible companies.

All you have to do is send us your employment or military records, as well as your medical records, documents that we will thoroughly evaluate to eventually let you know if you can file a claim.

If we discover that you are eligible, we will recommend you a top attorney whose main area of practice is toxic exposure so that you can benefit from the money you deserve for your lung cancer diagnosis.

Nevertheless, it is important to know that asbestos claims have a statute of limitations of 3 years in most states, which is why we encourage you to contact Atraxia Law immediately after you receive your diagnosis so as not to lose your right to compensation.