Smokers are significantly more likely to develop skin cancer, a Queensland study has found.
Researchers at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute spent three years monitoring the development of skin cancers in almost 19,000 Queenslanders and found those who currently smoked were more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
But the good news is that the risk of developing the cancer drops off as soon someone quits smoking.
"We found that current smokers were at significantly higher risk of SCC (squamous cell carcinoma) than former smokers or people who had never smoked," Professor David Whiteman said.
But Professor Whitehead said more research was needed to understand the link.
"We don't yet understand how smoking might increase the risk of SCC," Professor Whiteman said.
SCC is considered one of most common forms of skin cancer, alongside basal cell carcinoma (BCC).
The study found no evidence smokers had a higher risk of BCC than non-smokers.