We hear about the dangers of smoking all the time. You may even have grown up with anti-smoking campaigns like “Be smart, don't start!” These campaigns have worked too. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 13.8% of Americans smoked in 2018, down from 20.9% in 2005.
But if you're facing a mesothelioma diagnosis, you may wonder if you could have prevented this if you'd never smoked. We often think of cancer as just bad luck or something that only happens to you if you have unhealthy habits. But mesothelioma is not your fault, even if you're a smoker.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the pleural lining of the lungs and abdomen caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral found in rocks and soil. Asbestos is heat and electricity-resistant, and it's flexible and fibrous. As a result, manufacturers can easily incorporate asbestos into fibers and many building materials. So, manufacturers once widely used asbestos as a fire retardant in clothing and construction materials. But when construction, fire, or demolition disrupt asbestos fibers, they can easily float through the air or water and be inhaled or ingested by people.
Inhaling or ingesting asbestos can cause mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. Asbestosis is a condition where scar tissue builds up in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Some professions are at higher risk for mesothelioma and asbestos-related cancers, including:
· Construction workers,
· Mill workers,
· Power plant workers, and
· Servicemembers on ships and submarines in the Navy.
Many New Orleans area workers may be at risk for mesothelioma.
How Does Smoking Affect Mesothelioma?
It's important to note that being a smoker will not prevent you from recovering compensation for mesothelioma or other asbestos-related cancers. However, smoking combined with asbestos exposure can be a deadly combination. Occupational asbestos exposure on its own increases your chance of lung cancer by five times, but smokers exposed to asbestos have a death rate that is 28 times higher than non-smokers.
Asbestos has some effects on the lungs that are similar to smoking. When you inhale asbestos, the fibers can make it to your lungs, causing inflammation and scarring. Over time this scarring makes your flexible lung tissue rigid, keeping it from effectively absorbing oxygen and making it harder to breathe. Your lung and airway tissues start to heal when you stop smoking, but the asbestos damage is irreversible. Together, asbestos exposure and smoking can be incredibly deadly. But it's important to remember that your asbestos exposure is not your fault, and it won't prevent you from recovering compensation.
Hire an Attorney You Trust
If you or someone you love is facing mesothelioma or another asbestos-related cancer diagnosis, you don't have to do this alone. You have questions, and we can help. At the Cheek Law Firm, our goal is to get you
the justice, closure, and financial compensation you've earned. We also give each client the time and personal attention and they deserve.
If you have mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation, so give us a call today to set up a free consultation to discuss your options. Contact us at 504-304-4333 or online.