Monday, June 22, 2015

Cigarette smoking STILL kills 345,962 Americans each year

Cigarette smoking is STILL responsible for at least 345,962 cancer deaths in the U.S. each year, according to a new study reported on in The Portland Press.

How are people dying? About 45 percent of those deaths are the result of cancers of the lung, bronchus and trachea. Researchers in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine reported on the study findings. Another 15 percent of the deaths are due to colorectal cancer, 11 percent are due to pancreatic cancers and 6 percent are due to liver cancers.

Scientists have determined that there are 12 types of cancer that can be caused by smoking. When these 12 cancers are pooled together, nearly half of all these cancer related deaths – 48.5 percent – can be blamed on cigarette smoking.

Lung cancer, obviously, has the strongest link to smoking. The researchers estimate that 83 percent of lung cancer deaths in men and 76 percent of lung cancer deaths in women are the result of smoking. 

Smoking has also played a huge role in cancers of the larynx. Fully 93 percent of larynx cancer deaths in women, along with 72 percent of larynx cancer deaths in men, are due to cigarette use.

The next tier includes esophageal cancer (with 51 percent of deaths tied to smoking), mouth and throat cancers (47 percent of deaths due to smoking) and bladder cancer (45 percent of deaths linked to smoking).  Yes, bladder cancer!

In another group are liver cancers, uterine and cervical cancers and stomach cancers, with 24 percent, 22 percent and 20 percent of deaths attributable to smoking, respectively.

Rounding out the list are kidney cancer (with 17 percent of deaths due to smoking), myeloid leukemia (15 percent of deaths traced to smoking), pancreatic cancer (12 percent of deaths linked to smoking) and colorectal cancer (10 percent of deaths tied to smoking).

To come up with these figures, the researchers – from the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center – combined data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey, the Cancer Prevention Study II and five studies that are known as the Pooled Contemporary Cohort.

The people that were included in the analysis were all at least 35 years old, and they were more educated and less racially diverse than Americans as a whole.

This new analysis does not include other forms of tobacco use, such as cigars and pipes.  Nor did the study account for exposure to second-hand smoke, which is believed to be responsible for about 5 percent of lung cancer deaths.

But even with these limitations, the take-home message is pretty clear.  The researchers were quoted as saying, “Continued progress in reducing cancer mortality, as well as deaths from many other serious diseases, will require more comprehensive tobacco control.”

I think the research is clearer than that however and that is this.  With this awareness, anyone who continues to smoke is committing what I like to call "passive-aggressive suicide."  In this day and age, making the conscious decision to smoke and allow a continued addiction to nicotine is no different than playing Russian Roulette and for you Hunger Games fans out there, these odds will NEVER be in your favor.

If you're on the hook and you got this monkey on your back, there is a way out.  Take a look at a book called How To Stop Smoking Without Killing Anyone.  This book will empower you and give you complete control over nicotine and cigarettes.