Distorted view amongst smokers of when deadly damage caused by smoking will

January 18, 2018

Smokers have a distorted perception on when the onset of smoking-related conditions will occur, a new study in the Journal of Cognitive Psychology reports.

In the first ever study of its kind, researchers from the University of Milano-Bicocca and the University of Surrey surveyed 162 smokers and non-smokers on their understanding of the onset of negative health conditions associated with smoking. Participants were asked to estimate the timings of when smoking-related conditions might develop in a person who starts smoking 10 cigarettes a day at 18 years old. Smoking-related conditions were categorised as mild (yellow teeth, bad breath) and severe (lung cancer, stroke).

Researchers discovered that on average smokers considered the onset of both mild and severe smoking-related conditions would occur later in life than non-smokers. This misperception amongst smokers highlights a lack of understanding on the adverse consequences of smoking and how rapidly damage can be caused to the body.

It was also found that time estimates for developing mild conditions given by both smokers and non-smokers were directly associated with their perceptions of risk and level of fear. The researchers believe that this did not hold for severe diseases due to a perception that severe smoking-related conditions, such as lung cancer, are so far in the future that people's self-perceptions are not associated with them.

Smoking is the primary cause of preventable illness and death in the UK and causes an estimated 79,000 deaths every year. Latest figures from the NHS show that 474,000 hospital admissions are attributable to smoking, placing an enormous burden on the health service.

Dr Patrice Rusconi from the University of Surrey, Social Emotions and Equality in Relations (SEER) research group, said: "The adverse consequences of smoking are well documented, but what we have found is that smokers perceive such hazards to be further in the future compared to those who don't smoke.

"This distorted perception is incredibly dangerous for those who do smoke, and may lead people to delay quitting smoking or screening for smoking-related conditions, increasing their risk of developing a serious illness."
-end-


University of Surrey

Related Lung Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

State-level lung cancer screening rates not aligned with lung cancer burden in the US
A new study reports that state-level lung cancer screening rates were not aligned with lung cancer burden.

The lung microbiome may affect lung cancer pathogenesis and prognosis
Enrichment of the lungs with oral commensal microbes was associated with advanced stage disease, worse prognosis, and tumor progression in patients with lung cancer, according to results from a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

New analysis finds lung cancer screening reduces rates of lung cancer-specific death
Low-dose CT screening methods may prevent one death per 250 at-risk adults screened, according to a meta-analysis of eight randomized controlled clinical trials of lung cancer screening.

'Social smokers' face disproportionate risk of death from lung disease and lung cancer
'Social smokers' are more than twice as likely to die of lung disease and more than eight times as likely to die of lung cancer than non-smokers, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress.

Lung cancer therapy may improve outcomes of metastatic brain cancer
A medication commonly used to treat non-small cell lung cancer that has spread, or metastasized, may have benefits for patients with metastatic brain cancers, suggests a new review and analysis led by researchers at St.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Lung transplant patients face elevated lung cancer risk
In an American Journal of Transplantation study, lung cancer risk was increased after lung transplantation, especially in the native (non-transplanted) lung of single lung transplant recipients.

Proposed cancer treatment may boost lung cancer stem cells, study warns
Epigenetic therapies -- targeting enzymes that alter what genes are turned on or off in a cell -- are of growing interest in the cancer field as a way of making a cancer less aggressive or less malignant.

Are you at risk for lung cancer?
This question isn't only for people who've smoked a lot.

Read More: Lung Cancer News and Lung Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.