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Healthy Lifestyle Choices Could Cut Cancer Rates: Report
Date:4/19/2012

hasized the importance of smoking cessation programs in reducing the risk for smoking-related cancers," Schnabel noted. "The link between smoking and cancer is well-established, and an investment of resources into smoking cessation programs would be expected to translate into saving many lives, and relieving the burden of the related cancer from the affected individuals, and from society as a whole."

The report found that if comprehensive smoke-free laws were passed by states that currently don't have such laws, there would be 624,000 fewer cancer deaths over the long term and $1.32 billion less in cancer treatment costs over five years.

While there was a modest overall decline in cigarette smoking among adults between 2005 and 2010 (an estimated 21 percent of men and 17 percent of women smoked in 2010), decreases did not occur in all subgroups of smokers, the report said.

Among daily smokers, light smoking (less than 10 cigarettes a day) increased from 16 percent in 2005 to 22 percent in 2010, while heavy smoking declined from 13 percent to 8 percent.

In 2009, 19.5 percent of high school students were current smokers and 7.3 percent were frequent smokers. Smoking among high school students did not decrease between 2003 and 2009, but declined significantly among teen student smokers between 2010 and 2011 and among smokers aged 12 to 17 between 2008 and 2010.

Smoking is not the only area where lifestyle changes are still needed, the report authors said.

Increasing rates of obesity seen since the early 1980s appear to have slowed or leveled off since 2003, but an estimated 18 percent of adolescents and 36 percent of adults are still considered obese. Mississippi had the highest overall obesity rate, at nearly 35 percent.

The report also found that cancer screening rates are not always what they should be.

In a bit of good news, the proportion of girls aged 13 to 17 who started the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination
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