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Considerable Proportion of Cancer Deaths Attributable to Smoking

TUESDAY, Jan. 26, 2021 -- A considerable proportion of cancer deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking, with variation across regions, according to a study published online Jan. 26 in Cancer Causes & Control.

Farhad Islami, M.D., Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues estimated smoking-related population-attributable fractions (PAFs) for cancer mortality in those ages 30 years and older in 2013 to 2017 in 152 metropolitan or micropolitan statistical areas (MMSAs). Cross-sectional data for cigarette smoking prevalence were obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, and cancer mortality data were obtained from the U.S. Cancer Statistics Database.

The researchers found that the smoking-related PAFs of cancer varied from 8.8 percent in Logan (Utah-Idaho) to 35.7 percent in Lexington-Fayette (Kentucky). The MMSAs with the highest PAFs were in Appalachia and the South region. Within regions or states, there was substantial variation observed in PAFs across MMSAs; for example, the PAF ranged from 24.2 to 33.7 percent in the Northeast.

"This information is important to inform and help evaluate state and local-level tobacco control policies such as state-, city-, or county-level tobacco taxes and smoke-free air laws; investments in tobacco prevention; and increasing access to smoking cessation resources," Islami said in a statement.

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