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09 Dec 16

Cancers linked to tobacco use make up 40% of all cancers diagnosed in the United States

11 Nov 16

Forty percent of cancers diagnosed in the U.S. may have a link to tobacco use, according to this month's Vital Signs Report. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer and cancer deaths. It causes more than lung cancer — based on current evidence, it can cause cancers of the mouth and throat, voice box, esophagus, stomach, kidney, pancreas, liver, bladder, cervix, colon and rectum, and a type of leukemia (acute myeloid leukemia).

Each year between 2009 and 2013, about 660,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with, and about 343,000 people died from, a cancer related to tobacco use, according to a new report by CDC. Three in ten cancer deaths were due to cigarette smoking, but progress has been made. Since 1990, about 1.3 million tobacco-related cancer deaths have been avoided.

"There are more than 36 million smokers in the U.S.," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "Sadly, nearly half could die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses, including 6 million from cancer, unless we implement the programs that will help smokers quit."

National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data released today in a separate article in the same MMWR show that current cigarette smoking among U.S. adults declined from 20.9 percent (45.1 million) in 2005 to 15.1 percent (36.5 million) in 2015. During 2014-2015 alone, there was a 1.7 percentage point decline, resulting in the lowest prevalence of adult cigarette smoking since the CDC's NHIS began collecting such data in 1965.

"When states invest in comprehensive cancer control programs—including tobacco control—we see greater benefits for everyone and fewer deaths from tobacco-related cancers.  We have made progress, but our work is not done," said Lisa C. Richardson, M.D., M.P.H., director of CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control.

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