The rates of lung cancer have been declining among men and have begun to decline among women. The lag in the decrease among women is because larger numbers of women took up smoking years later than men and were slower to quit, she explained.
“If we could reduce smoking, we would have a lot fewer cancers,” Siegel said. Smoking cessation efforts are especially needed among the poor, she said. “The poor are twice as likely to be smokers as the non-poor,” Siegel said.
“While we have made a lot of progress in tobacco control, there is still a lot to do,” she said.
The report was published online June 15 as a letter in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Dr. Norman Edelman, a senior scientific advisor to the American Lung Association, said when people hear about smoking and cancer, they often think about lung cancer and nothing else.
“This study shows that there is a huge burden of other cancers caused by smoking in addition to lung cancer,” he said.
Edelman said that smoking is a huge public health problem and remains the major cause of preventable deaths in the United States. “Things are better, but we are not out from under it by any means,” he said.
Edelman urges smokers to quit. “Smoking is even more deadly than thought,” he said. “It is the most deadly element in our environment that we can control — at least in theory.”
Copyright HealthDay News June 2015