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Smoking behind half of major cancer deaths

16 June 2015, 10:22

Washington -Smoking is responsible for nearly half of deaths due to certain types of cancers in 2011, a US study said Monday.

Some 48.5 percent of nearly 346,000 deaths attributed to one of the 12 types of cancer known to be caused by smoking were due to cigarette use, according to the study published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

The large number of deaths comes despite concerted efforts to reduce cigarette use across the United States.

"Continued progress in reducing cancer mortality, as well as deaths from many other serious diseases, will require more comprehensive tobacco control, including targeted cessation support," the report concluded, referencing programs that help people quit smoking.

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Smoking prevalence has dropped in the US from 23.2 percent in 2000 to 18.1 percent in 2012, researchers said.

Of the lung, bronchus and trachea cancer deaths studied, some 80 percent were attributed to smoking.

About 77 percent of larynx cancer deaths studied were connected to smoking, the study said.

The researchers noted limitations in their data, including lack of racial diversity and that that non-cigarette tobacco exposure was not included.

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