“These dramatic declines in the number of young adults with lung cancer show that tobacco prevention control programs work—when they are applied,” said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a written statement.
Often regarded as one of the most preventable diseases, lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death and the second-most common cancer among men and women. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer compared withd nonsmokers, while women who smoke are 13 times more likely, according to the CDC.
A recent study published in the Jan. 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association found tobacco control efforts have prevented 8 million premature deaths between 1964 and 2012.
Overall, the smoking rate has gone down significantly in the U.S. since the 1960s, when tobacco controls were first implemented. Currently, an estimated 18% of Americans smoke, compared to 42% in 1964.
Tobacco use throughout the rest of the world, however, has been on the rise. The World Health Organization estimates that more than 1 billion people smoke worldwide, with 80% living in low- and middle-income countries.
Despite the strides made in reducing tobacco use in the U.S., Frieden said more needed to be done to help smokers quit. An earlier CDC study found that, in 2010, states devoted only 2.4% of the revenue generated from taxes on cigarettes sales to tobacco control.
“While it is encouraging that lung cancer incidence rates are dropping in the United States, one preventable cancer is one too many,” Frieden said. “Implementation of tobacco control strategies is needed to reduce smoking prevalence and the lung cancer it causes among men and women.”
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