According to a new report, near to 167,133 cancer deaths in a year occurring in the U.S. can be blamed on smoking cigarettes.
The current number of deaths is due to a total of 12 categories of cancer, with smoking being blamed as a cause by the U.S. Surgeon General. The cancer categories include kidney and ureter, cervix, colon and rectum, lung, trachea and bronchus, oropharynx, esophagus, stomach, bladder, larynx, acute myeloid leukemia, and liver.
The results from the current study were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Not only cancer, but smoking has also been held responsible for causing approximately one-third of deaths because of coronary heart disease. The Surgeon General also added that smoking has a link to causing diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other health related ailments.
The recent national estimate regarding cancer deaths due to smoking in 2014 has been presented by American Cancer Society researchers. The team made use of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They then went forward and tallied the collected data with the toll of death in each of the U.S.’s 50 states. They also added the District of Columbia in their study.
The data included former and current smokers, separated by age group and gender. The statistical analysis also showed how much blame should be associated with cigarettes linked to causing different kinds of deaths due to cancer.
The average rate of cigarette-smoking related cancer deaths for all of the states was observed to be 29%. The lowest was in Utah with 16.6% while the highest was in Kentucky with 34%. Coming to the top 10 states with the highest rates, seven of them were located in the South. This coincided with the fact that the Southern states produce almost 95% of tobacco in the U.S. According to the researchers, the tobacco control policies in the South are quite weak.
The researchers also analyzed demographics. U.S. citizens are four times more likely to pick up smoking if they never went to college compared to college graduates. African-Americans are also more likely to live in the South, with smoking making for 27.2% of deaths due to cancer. The rate shown in Latinos was 19.8%.
The report also looked at the gender gap. All over the nation, cancer related deaths due to cigarette smoking were seen to be 34% in men compared to 23% in women. The authors of the study say that this could be because of smoking being traditionally considered as something men should do. However, the trend can change in the future with Arkansas, Montana, and South Dakota currently showing more women smoking than men.
The team of researchers also got to find out a lot of shortcomings related to the efforts being made by states in order to decrease smoking. North Dakota was the only state able to meet the target set by the CDC for getting anti-tobacco programs funded. Some of the suggestions made by the researchers were to increase cigarette taxes, prohibiting cigarette smoking in public areas, and providing fully covered smoking cessation services.
The researchers went on to stress that Government support and action can help make a difference. With New York City as an example, by implanting measures to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, raising cigarette taxes, and making nicotine replacement patches free lead to a 140,000 decrease in the total number of smokers.