Categorized | Healthy Living

Tobacco-Related Cancers Fact Sheet

Posted on 17 January 2013 by Brian Dunlap

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States for both men and women. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)
  • Lung cancer is the most preventable form of cancer death in our society. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)
  • Lung cancer estimates for 2012 (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012):
  • New cases of lung cancer: 226,160
    Males: 116,470
    Females: 109,690
  • Deaths from lung cancer: 160,340
    Males: 87,750
    Females: 72,590
  • Besides lung cancer, tobacco use also increases the risk for cancers of the mouth, lips, nasal cavity (nose) and sinuses, larynx (voice box), pharynx (throat), esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterus, cervix, colon/rectum, ovary (mucinous), and acute myeloid leukemia. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)
  • In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths; this equals about 443,000 early deaths each year. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)
  • Tobacco use accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths and 80% of lung cancer deaths. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)
  • Cigarette use has declined dramatically since the release of the first US Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health in 1964. Even so, about 21.6% of men and 16.5% of women still smoked cigarettes in 2011, with about 78% of these people smoking daily. (Source: Current cigarette smoking among adults – United States, 2011)
  • Cigarette smoking among adults age 18 and older who smoked 30 cigarettes or more a day went down significantly from 2005 to 2011 – from 12.6% to 9.1%. But the number of adults who smoke 1 to 9 cigarettes a day went up during this same time – from 16.4% to 22%. And still, nearly 44 million American adults smoke. (Source: Current cigarette smoking among adults – United States, 2011)
  • Cigars contain many of the same carcinogens (cancer-causing substances) found in cigarettes. Between 1997 and 2007, sales of little cigars had increased by 240%, while large cigar sales decreased by 6%. Cigar smoking causes cancers of the lung, mouth, throat, larynx (voice box), esophagus (swallowing tube), and probably the pancreas. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)
  • Little cigars are about the same size and shape as cigarettes, come in packs of 20, but unlike cigarettes, they can be candy or fruit flavored. In most states, they cost much less than cigarettes, making them affordable to youth. A 2011 CDC survey found that about 24% of 12th grade boys and about 10% of the 12th grade girls had smoked cigars in the past 30 days. (Sources: Cancer Facts & Figures 2011; CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2011)
  • In 1997, nearly half (48%) of male high school students and more than one-third (36%) of female students reported using some form of tobacco – cigarettes, cigars, or smokeless tobacco products – in the past month. The percentages went down to 28% for male students and 18% for female students in 2011. But among 12th graders, 37% of the boys and 25% of the girls had used tobacco in the past month. (Sources: Cancer Facts & Figures 2010; CDC Current Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students – United States, 2011; CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2011)
  • Each year, about 3,400 non-smoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke. Each year secondhand smoke also causes about 46,000 deaths from heart disease in people who are not current smokers. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)
  • Among adults age 18 and older, national data from 2010 showed 5% of men and less than 1% of women were current users of smokeless tobacco. Nationwide, about 13% of US male high school students and more than 2% of female high school students were using chewing tobacco, snuff, or dip in 2011. (Sources: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012; CDC Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance — United States, 2011)
  • Smokeless tobacco products are a major source of cancer-causing nitrosamines and a known cause of human cancer. They increase the risk of developing cancer of the mouth and throat, esophagus (swallowing tube), and pancreas. (Source: Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts and Figures 2010)
  • Smokeless tobacco products are less lethal but are not a safe alternative to smoking. Using smokeless tobacco can lead to nicotine addiction. Use of tobacco in any form harms health. (Source: Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts and Figures 2010)
  • Between 2000 and 2004, smoking caused more than $193 billion in annual health-related costs in the United States, including smoking-attributable medical costs and productivity losses. (Source: Cancer Facts & Figures 2012)


Last Medical Review: 11/09/2012
Last Revised: 11/09/2012
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