One-third of Cancer Deaths Caused by Smoking

smoking-cigarettesTobacco in every form is addictive and can lead to a host of health problems which can result in death. Often when people seek treatment for their addictions they will seek counsel about how to give up their cigarettes, too.

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that fewer American adults are smoking than ever before. The CDC linked the reduction in smoking rates to higher cigarette prices, smoke-free policies and campaigns to combat smoking. Smokers also have increased access to smoking cessation medications and programs that help smokers quit.

In America, while smoking rates continue to drop, cigarettes are still responsible for about one-third of cancer deaths nationwide, according to a new study. The findings come from 2010 national data which was analyzed by researchers at the American Cancer Society, HealthDay reports.

The new estimate does not include deaths from secondhand smoke, as well as deaths linked to other forms of tobacco such as cigars, pipes, or smokeless tobacco.

The researchers point out that this is the first study of its kind to be published in the scientific literature in more than 30 years. The new study found a higher rate of smoking related cancer deaths than the old smoking study, but not much higher. The original study found that 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the United States were caused by smoking.

Despite the higher rate of smoking-related cancer deaths in 2010, researchers said that the findings do not mean lowered smoking rates have not helped reduce cancer deaths. The researchers found that other factors may have contributed to the higher rate in 2010.

Those factors include:

  • More types of cancers are known to be caused by smoking.
  • Rising lung cancer death rates among women smokers.
  • A reduction in deaths from cancers caused by factors other than smoking.

“Our results indicate that cigarette smoking causes about three in 10 cancer deaths in the contemporary United States. Reducing smoking prevalence as rapidly as possible should be a top priority for U.S. public health efforts to prevent future cancer deaths,” researchers from the American Cancer Society wrote.

The study appears in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.