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Study: US tobacco-control efforts prevented nearly 800,000 cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000
Date:3/14/2012

SEATTLE Declines in cigarette smoking among Americans since the mid-1950s particularly since tobacco-control policies and interventions were implemented after the U.S. Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health was released in 1964 prevented nearly 800,000 lung cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000, according to a study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Results of the National Cancer Institute-funded study, conducted by a consortium of six research groups in the U.S. and the Netherlands, are published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

For the study, the researchers, part of the NCI's Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network, reconstructed detailed smoking histories for those born between 1890 and 1970, and then estimated lung cancer deaths associated with these smoking histories using mathematical equations. In this way, the researchers were able to estimate the impact of changes in smoking patterns resulting from tobacco-control efforts on deaths from lung cancer between 1975 and 2000.

"This is the first attempt to quantify the impact of changes in smoking behaviors on lung cancer mortality based on detailed reconstruction of cigarette smoking histories," said lead author Suresh H. Moolgavkar, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist, biostatistician and mathematical modeler in the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division. He is an expert in devising formulas, equations and computer programs that simulate and predict biological processes. Such studies contribute to the understanding of cancer risks associated with exposures to toxic chemicals such as cigarette smoke.

Since the mid-'60s, tobacco-control efforts in the U.S. have included restrictions on smoking in public places, increases in cigarette excise taxes, limits on underage access to cigarettes, and efforts to increase public awareness of the hazards of smoking.

In addition to modeling the impact of actual t
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Contact: Kristen Woodward
kwoodwar@fhcrc.org
206-667-5095
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Source:Eurekalert

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