According to a study conducted by the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women and is the most preventable form of cancer death (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2009). The following is a list of facts regarding lung cancer and tobacco use:
- In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths; this equaled about 443,600 early deaths each year from 2000 to 2004.
- Tobacco use accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths and 87% of lung cancer deaths.
- Between 2000 and 2004, smoking caused more than $196 billion in annual health-related costs in the US, including smoking-attributable medical costs, and productivity losses.
- Each year, about 3,400 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke. Each year secondhand smoke also causes about 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are not current smokers.
- Besides lung cancer, tobacco use also causes increased risk for cancers of the mouth, lips, nasal cavity (nose) and sinuses, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterine cervix, and acute myeloid leukemia.
- Cigarette use has had a dramatic decline since the release of the first US Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health in 1964. Even so, about 22% of men and 17% of women still smoked cigarettes in 2007, with almost 80% of these people smoking daily.
- Cigarette smoking among adults age 18 and older went down 50% between 1965 and 2004 -- from 42% to 21% -- but about 43 million Americans still smoke.
- In 1997, nearly half (48%) of male high school students and more than one-third (36%) of female students reported using some form of tobacco -- cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco products -- in the past month. The percentages went down to 30% for male students and 21% for female students in 2007.
- Among adults age 18 and older, national data from 2007 showed 7% of men and less than 1% of women were current users of smokeless tobacco. Nationwide, about 13% of US male high school students and 2% of female high school students were using chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip in 2007. (Sources: 2007 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts and Figures 2009)
- Smokeless tobacco products are a major source of cancer-causing nitrosamines and a known cause of human cancer. They increase the risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity (mouth), esophagus (swallowing tube), and pancreas. (Source: Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts and Figures 2009)
For additional information about these facts, please download the Cancer Facts and Figures 2009 report