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Smoking Strongly Linked to Many U.S. Cancer Deaths

While more people are kicking the habit each and every day and even more are never lighting up in the first place, smoking remains a continued concern for oncologists across America. A recent study, in fact, found that as many as 40 percent of cancer-related deaths are linked to cigarette smoking in some parts of America.

The study that found the ongoing link between lighting up and cancer-related deaths came from data collected by the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The data used to draw conclusions was collected in 2014. Researchers found that more than 167,000 deaths in 2014 were directly attributable to cigarette smoking. The connection was most noted among such forms of cancer as lung, oral cavity, colorectal and cervical cancer, among others.

The rates of death were found to be higher in some geographical areas with as many as 40 percent of deaths in the south attributed to smoking. In other regions, however, the rates were lower but still significant.

The study sheds light on the continuing need for healthcare providers to stress the importance of avoiding tobacco use to their patients. Smokers and those who use smokeless tobacco may help themselves lower cancer risks by quitting the habit as soon as possible. Medical professionals do have tools at their disposal to assist with fighting the addiction. Medications and smoking cessation programs may be of assistance in fighting both physical and psychological dependencies.

It is estimated that some 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in the coming year. An estimated 500,000 will die cancer-related deaths. While not all cases of cancer are linked to tobacco use, many are and will likely remain so until tobacco use is eradicated. With that in mind, it is strongly urged that people who use tobacco take steps to leave the habit behind.

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