Is Michael Douglas smoking after beating throat cancer?

Celebrity magazines are abuzz with pictures which allegedly show Hollywood actor Michael Douglas smoking a cigarette after winning his battle with throat cancer only months ago.    

According to one report on the Huffington Post a photo of Michael Douglas on the cover of Star celebrity news magazine shows Michael holding what appears to be a cigarette while on holiday with his wife, actress Catherine Zeta Jones - who is also apparently a smoker.

The world watched in horror last year when he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and as pictures emerged of a very skinny and gaunt Michael and many did not believe he would recover.

He only revealed his diagnosis when he returned to the United States from a family holiday and in September 2010, a month after his diagnosis he confirmed he was in stage-four cancer with an 80% chance of beating it.

However, a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan in January 2011 showed that the walnut-sized tumour had been successfully eradicated and the future once again looked rosy for the 66-year-old actor.

At the time he said, "I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy."

Click on the picture below to watch this video of an interview with Michael after he had been cleared of throat cancer. 

Smoking and cancer

According to the Huffington Post report, Michael had admitted to US talk-show host David Letterman that "he did have a habit of smoking and drinking -- two guilty pleasures that are often connected to throat cancer".

Just how much an effect smoking has on cancer is debatable, although ongoing research into the connection all appears to point at the fact that there is a cause and effect relationship.

Dr Carl Albrecht, chief researcher from the Cancer Association of South Africa says that “Smoking is responsible for 30% of all cancers" and the World Health Organization supports this point of view and strongly advises against smoking of any form.

Yet staggering amounts of people continue to smoke the world over, so Michael is not alone in his battle with this very common and dangerous addiction.

Read more here about the different cancers which have been linked to smoking and the prevalence of smoking in South Africa

Sources: Huffington Post, The Telegraph, Health24

(Amy Froneman, Health24, August 2011)

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