CDC: Successful Anti-Smoking Efforts Resulting in Less Lung Cancer?


Former smoker Debie Austin warns viewers about the dangers of smoking.

Yes, according to a new report.

New diagnoses of lung cancer fell from 2006 to 2008 among Americans of both sexes — the first time in decades that the incidence in women has declined, and probably because of successful anti-smoking efforts, the CDC reported.

Nationwide, the reductions in incidence amounted to 2.2% among women from 2006 to 2008 and 2.9% among men from 2005 to 2008, according to data from two CDC registries appearing Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Accompanying and probably explaining these trends were declines in smoking prevalence and increases in so-called quit ratios, seen in responses to the CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey, the report indicated.

Quit ratios are the number of “former smokers” (those responding that they did not currently smoke but had previously smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetimes) divided by the total of current and former smokers.

States with higher quit ratios — which the authors suggested were the result of media campaigns, tobacco tax hikes, and other anti-smoking programs — had greater decreases in new lung cancer diagnoses (r=-0.55 for men, -0.33 for women, both P<0.001).

During this period of time, some states also regulated where smoking could take place (due to second hand smoke). With smoking no longer being socially acceptable inside a residence or a restaurant, some of the glamor and more of the pain in the ass type of habit meme becomes more common place.

Graphic videos like the one above may have had some effect.

But, whatever, I will accept less lung cancer as a worthy societal goal.

Although the authors offered no systematic data to link these trends with state-level tobacco control efforts, they argued that these were likely responsible, at least in part.

They pointed to California as a state that has “invest[ed] more fully in these programs” and has also seen “decreases in youth and adult smoking prevalence, decreases in lung cancer, and significant healthcare savings.”


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