Our research into cancer prevention and causes
Around 50 years ago, one of our best known scientists, Professor Sir Richard Doll, was the first to show that smoking led directly to lung cancer. Today, smoking is known to be the single biggest cause of cancer in the world, and accounts for one in four UK cancer deaths.
The harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke increase the risk of more than a dozen types of cancer. You can read more about the links between smoking and cancer on our Healthy Living pages. Our researchers continue to investigate exactly how these chemicals damage cells throughout the body and contribute to the development of this disease.
One of Cancer Research UK’s aspirational goals for 2020 is that ‘The number of smokers will fall dramatically’. Importantly, our scientific experts in this field are striving to find effective new ways to help people successfully quit smoking. This work has the potential to save many thousands of lives in the future.
Below are some of the highlights of our smoking research portfolio.
Queen Mary, University of London
University of Edinburgh
University of Stirling
University of Bristol
King's College London
University College London