Staying healthy after cancer: quit smoking

Stopping smoking is the best decision you can make to improve your health and wellbeing. If you quit, it reduces your chance of the cancer coming back and another one developing.
It also reduces your chance of developing other illnesses. These include emphysema, heart disease, stroke and osteoporosis. Smoking can also affect the treatment of cancer.
For example:
  • It can cause more pain after surgery.
  • It can increase the risk of infections after surgery.
  • It can lead to complications with general anaesthetic.
  • It can reduce how well chemotherapy and radiotherapy works.
  • It can make the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy worse. It can also cause rarer side-effects such as breathing and heart problems. 
There is help available if you smoke and would like to stop. The HSE Quit Team offers support and assistance for smokers. You can talk to a specially trained stop smoking counsellor who will help you prepare a plan and support you during this time. Call the Quit Team on Freephone 1800 201 203 for more information. You can also Freetext 50100 or visit (external link)
Some hospitals have stop-smoking clinics. Ask your doctor or nurse if there is one available in your hospital. You can also speak with your local pharmacist.

Find out more about giving up smoking  including 10 tips to help you quit, treatments you might need and our audio guides to help you on the way.  

Date Last Reviewed: 
Friday, November 27, 2015
Date Last Revised: 
Friday, November 27, 2015