The researchers estimated the percentage of cancer deaths attributed to cigarette smoking by using relative risks for 12 different kinds of cancer which can be associated with smoking. The average for all states was 29 percent. In addition, for middle aged people, current and former smoking is more common for men than women.
Various categories of cancer caused by cigarette smoking claims more lives than the entire population of Salem, Ore., annually, the U.S. Surgeon General cautioned in a newly released report.
Researches attribute 12 types of cancer-related deaths to smoking including lung, liver, bronchus, stomach and bladder. Recently a higher proportion of women were found to be smokers than men in South Dakota, Montana and Arkansas.
"In Alaska, which had the second highest smoking attributable cancer mortality in women, smoking prevalence was the same in men and women in 2009, in contrast to most states where it was 10% to 60% higher in men", the researchers wrote.
Some of these southern states have particularly lax anti-smoking controls in place, the researchers said.
"There have been 16 ballot initiatives to increase cigarette taxes in USA states over the past 20 years, with a worse record since 2006 (2 wins, 5 losses) than in the prior 10 years (8 wins, 1 loss)", they wrote.
The study was published online October 24 in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine. We have known for some times that some states have pioneered tobacco control, or have implemented strong tobacco control or programs. The World Health Organization recommends that taxes account for 75 percent of the total price of cigarettes, and none of the states (or the District of Columbia) now meets this goal. The other two-thirds of states could join them.
In fiscal 2016, the association reported that the state spent $16.6 million on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, just half the amount recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Her team found that, among men, rates of smoking-related cancer deaths ranged from a low of about 22 percent in Utah to highs of 39.5 percent in Arkansas, 38.5 percent in Tennessee and Louisiana, and 38.2 percent in Kentucky and West Virginia.
Demographic factors can also be taken into account: Americans who never attended college are more likely to smoke than those who graduated with a degree - and residents from the south have less education than those from the other parts of the country. This, they wrote, is how the feds persuaded states to raise the legal drinking age to 21.