One-fourth of US cancer deaths linked with 1 thing: smoking

Cigarettes contribute to more than 1 in 4 cancer deaths in the U.S. The rate is highest among men in southern states where smoking is more common and tobacco control policies are less strict. The American Cancer Society study found the highest rate among men in Arkansas, where 40 percent of cancer deaths were linked to cigarette smoking. Kentucky had the highest rate among women – 29 percent. The lowest rates were in Utah, where 22 percent of cancer deaths in men and 11 percent in women were linked with smoking. “The human costs of cigarette smoking are high in all states, regardless of ranking,” the authors said. They analyzed 2014 health surveys and government data on smoking rates and deaths from about a dozen smoking-linked cancers. Lung, throat, stomach, liver, colon, pancreas and kidney cancers were among those included, along with leukemia. The researchers estimated how many cancer deaths were likely attributable to smoking, and compared that with deaths from all cancers. Results were published Monday in. JAMA Internal Medicine. While U.S. smoking rates have been falling, 40 million U.S. adults are cigarette smokers and smoking is the top cause of preventable deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study found that at least 167,000 cancer deaths in 2014 – about 29 percent of all U.S. cancer deaths – were attributable to smoking.

 

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