New Analysis Links Lung Cancer Death Rates with Tobacco Control Efforts

(July 9, 2012)

A new study from the American Cancer Society, published early online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, examined female age-specific lung cancer death rates (1973 through 2007) by year of death and birth in each state.  They found large discrepancies between states, for example for women born since 1933, lung cancer death rates in California have dropped by more than half.  The death rates declined less quickly or even increased in the remaining states, especially in several southern and midwestern states, and in Alabama, the death rate has more than doubled. 


The findings point to links with states’ tobacco control efforts.  “The dramatic rise in lung cancer death rates in young and middle-aged white women in several Southern states points to a lack of effective policies or interventions, like excise taxes and comprehensive smoke-free laws, that deter initiation of smoking among teenagers and promote smoking cessation among adults,” said Ahmedin Jemal, PhD, American Cancer Society Vice President of surveillance research. “Our findings underscore the need for additional interventions to promote smoking cessation in these high-risk populations, which could lead to more favorable future mortality trends for lung cancer and other smoking-related diseases.”


The NPR health blog, together with their revealing graphic can be found here


Read the ACS news item.


Article: Increasing Lung Cancer Death Rates Among Young Women in Southern and Midwestern States; Jemal et al., J Clin Oncol 2012 Published online ahead of print June 25, 2012. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2012.42.6098

Find the original journal abstract and link to the full article