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Stanford Medicine

Cancer, CDC

Lung cancer rates declining in the U.S.

Some good news out of the CDC today: The rates of lung cancer among men in the United States decreased in 35 states between 1999 and 2008. And though the rates among women during that time period decreased in only six states (including California), the number of cases among women fell nationwide between 2006 and 2008. What’s more – and not surprisingly – states’ smoking patterns and anti-smoking efforts appear to play a role in cancer rates:

The decrease in lung cancer cases corresponds closely with smoking patterns across the nation. In the  West, where smoking prevalence is lower among men and women than in other  regions, lung cancer incidence is decreasing faster. Studies show declines in lung cancer rates can be seen as soon as five years after smoking rates decline.

The report also noted that states that make greater  investments in effective tobacco control strategies see larger reductions in smoking; and the longer they invest, the greater the savings in smoking–related health care costs. Such strategies include higher tobacco prices, hard–hitting media campaigns, 100 percent smoke-free policies, and  easily accessible quitting treatments and services for those who want to quit.

Previously: Study shows anti-tobacco programs targeting adults also curb teen smoking and A conversation about the FDA’s new graphic health warnings for cigarettes
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