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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Half of Cancer Deaths Caused by Smoking

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people lose their lives to a variety of different cancers. While many of these deaths could not have been avoided, it turns out that smoking can account for half of the major cancers that affect people 35 and older. New research suggests that about half of U.S. adult deaths from 12 cancers are caused by smoking, HealthDay reports. The cancers include lung, colon and pancreatic cancer.

Researchers at the American Cancer Society found that almost 168,000 of the 346,000 cancer related deaths in 2011, were tied to smoking. The study found that about 80 percent of deaths from cancers of the lungs, bronchi and trachea were due to smoking in 2011. The researchers found that three-quarters of deaths due to cancer of the larynx, and about half of deaths from cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus and urinary bladder were the result of tobacco.

“Despite large declines in smoking in the United States over the last 50 years, smoking still accounts for the majority of lung cancer deaths,” said study co-author Rebecca Siegel.

Siegel said that smoking was also the cause of many other forms of cancer related deaths, including:


  • Colon Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Liver Cancer
  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Cervix Cancer
  • Myeloid Leukemia


  • "If we could reduce smoking, we would have a lot fewer cancers," Siegel said.

    Today, there are a number of nicotine cessation products available to those who would like to quit. However, these products are not inexpensive and many are not educated about the various smoking cessation therapies. Siegel says that the poor are in the greatest need of smoking cessation programs.

    "The poor are twice as likely to be smokers as the non-poor," Siegel said.

    The findings appear in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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