Melanoma/skin campaigns have brought dermatologists to the forefront of cancer prevention. But an equally important opportunity remains essentially untapped—that of dermatologists as advocates for cigarette smoking cessation.
Cigarette smoking is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in our country.1 Greater than 30% of cancer-related deaths2 are due to tobacco use. America's fastest increasing cancer mortality is due to lung neoplasia in women.3 Overall, cigarettes cause a stupefying one in five American deaths.4
But why address nicotine addiction in a journal of dermatology? New data make smoking particularly relevant to dermatologic patients. By studying skin aging in 132 adult smokers and control subjects, Kadunce et al5 recently found wrinkled facial skin to be directly proportional to cigarette use (independent of age, sex, pigmentation, or sun exposure history). Specifically, persons with more than 50 pack-years history of smoking were almost five times as likely