Separately, both asbestos and cigarette smoking have been identified as causes of lung cancer. When smoking and asbestos exposure are combined, the risk of lung cancer is significantly greater than that posed by smoking or asbestos alone.
According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, if you have been exposed to asbestos and also smoke, you are anywhere from 50 to 84 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Quitting smoking can reduce the risk but cannot make your risk the same as someone who has never smoked before.
When asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs at a job site or somewhere else where asbestos fibers have been released, your body may not be able to expel them. As the fibers remain in your lungs for years, the damage can lead to lung cancer. Smoking weakens your lungs and decreases the chances of the asbestos fibers being cleared from the tissue.
Smoking has not been shown to increase the risk of mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and have become ill as a result, please contact the Law Office of Brown | Kiely, LLP, to schedule a consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Baltimore, Maryland.