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Anti-smoking efforts bring down cancer death rates

According to a recent study, the anti-smoking efforts are largely responsible for the decrease in death rate from cancer in the country.//

An estimate from the American Cancer Society published in the October issue of Tobacco Control reveals that there would not have been any decrease in the cancer mortality if the smoking rates had not come down in the past 50 years.

There is a 16% decrease in men’s cancer death rate during the period 1991-2003. The drop is from 279 deaths per 1,00,000 to 234 per 1,00,000. According to researchers, similarly, conservation projections also reveal that decrease in smoking is accountable for nearly 40% of the decrease.

The article show that since smoking rates among women is decreasing more recently than among men, there is no significant decrease in lung cancer death rates in women. On the contrary, there is a 10% rise in the female lung cancer death rates from 1991-2003.

“Overall cancer rates could drop even further because of the millions of young people who never started,” says the cancer society's Michael Thun, a co-author of the report.

A different study in the journal Circulation reveals the advantages of efforts to control smoking. Pueblo, Colo., put into practice a smoke-free law in July 2003. This has brought down the heart attack rates by 27% from 257 per 100,00 people per year to 187 per 100,000. The study was conducted on 855 patients during the period 2002-2004. No reduction in heart attack was found in the neighboring nations without smoke-free laws.

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