The smoking gun in some cancer deaths
SMOKING was responsible for nearly half of deaths due to certain types of cancers in 2011, a United States study said on Monday.
Some 48.5 per cent of nearly 346,000 deaths attributed to one of the 12 types of cancer known to be caused by smoking were due to cigarette use, according to the study published online in Jama Internal Medicine.
The large number of deaths comes despite concerted efforts to reduce cigarette use across the US.
"Continued progress in reducing cancer mortality, as well as deaths from many other serious diseases, will require more comprehensive tobacco control, including targeted cessation support," the report concluded, referring to programmes that help people quit smoking.
Smoking prevalence has dropped in the US from 23.2 per cent in 2000 to 18.1 per cent in 2012, researchers said.
Of the lung, bronchus and trachea cancer deaths studied, some 80 per cent were attributed to smoking.
About 77 per cent of larynx cancer deaths studied were connected to smoking, the study said.
The researchers noted limitations in their data, including lack of racial diversity and that non-cigarette tobacco exposure was not included.