Published in Cancer Causes & Control, the study analysed the proportion of cancer deaths that can be attributed to smoking, in 152 metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas (MMSAs) between 2013 and 2017. The compiled data indicated that 4 out of 10 cancer deaths in parts of the South region and Appalachia, were attributable to cigarette smoking.
Despite this wide variation, at least 20% of all cancer deaths were attributable to cigarette smoking in 147 out of 152 evaluated MMSAs. Most MMSAs with the highest proportions were in the South region and Appalachia. “This information is important to inform and help evaluate state and local-level tobacco control policies such as state, city- or county-level tobacco taxes and smoke-free air laws, investments in tobacco prevention and increasing access to smoking cessation resources,” said Dr. Islami.
Tobacco regulations have affected the number of smoking-related deaths
Data also indicated that variations in cigarette taxes and other tobacco control initiatives have affected the number of smoking-related cancer deaths. For example, the high total excise tax in New York City ($1.50 per pack in addition to the New York state tax of $4.35 per pack) may have contributed to the lower proportion of smoking-related cancer deaths in New York-Jersey City-White Plains metropolitan division, in comparison to other evaluated MMSAs in New York state and the Northeast region.
“Broad and equitable implementation and enforcement of proven tobacco control intervention at all government levels could avert many cancer deaths across the United States,” concluded the study.
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