Smoking cessation and the risk of oesophageal cancer: An overview of published studies

Cristina Bosetti, Silvano Gallus, Werner Garavello, Carlo La Vecchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The epidemiologic studies on oesophageal cancer and smoking cessation published before December 2005 were reviewed here. The results from at least 10 cohort and 10 case-control studies indicated that former smokers had a lower risk of squamous-cell or unspecified oesophageal cancer than current smokers. Most investigations showed that the risk of oesophageal cancer remains elevated many years (at least 10) after cessation of smoking, to decline by about 40% only thereafter. Moreover, after 10 years since cessation of smoking, ex-smokers still have a twofold increased risk as compared to never smokers. A few studies investigated the effect of smoking cessation on adenocarcinoma, and did not report a clear reduction of risk. Data on oesophageal adenocarcinoma are however too limited to provide adequate inference on the relation with time since smoking cessation. In conclusion, cessation of smoking could have an appreciable impact in reducing (squamous-cell) oesophageal cancer, and represents an obvious priority for prevention and public-health purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-964
Number of pages8
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Review
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking cessation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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