If you smoke or drink on a daily basis, you'll want to think twice before sipping on your hot beverage - especially if it's hot tea.
Research suggests there's an overwhelming link between heavy smoking or alcohol consumption, coupled with drinking hot tea, and esophageal cancer.
This form of cancer is more common than you'd think, killing approximately 400,000 people every year, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It's also been found that more men than women are affected by the disease.
Unfortunately, the survival rate for esophageal cancer is estimated to be at 18%, meaning that this research could save the lives of many people who have trouble quitting their bad habit.
Scientists have conducted many studies that shed some interesting information as to why this happens...
A Chinese study following 500,000 adults over almost 10 years discovered that this link between having one of these bad habits and drinking hot beverages significantly increases, by two to five-fold, one's risk of getting esophageal cancer.
The researches noted in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine that "excessive alcohol consumption" means taking in 15 grams or more of alcohol in a day and tobacco use means one or more cigarettes per day.
In an article by CNN, previous research discovered that hot beverages reaching temperatures of 149 degrees Fahrenheit could lead to esophageal cancer.
"Irritating the lining of the esophagus could lead to increased inflammation and more rapid turnover of the cells," Neal Freedman, senior investigator at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, told CNN. "Alternatively, hot liquids may impair the barrier function of the cells lining the esophagus, leaving the tissue open to greater damage from other carcinogens."
All that being said, staying away from smoking and alcohol is the best way to prevent cancer while still being able to enjoy the deliciousness of hot tea. In the meantime, wait for your tea to cool down, or opt for iced tea!