The press statement was issued October 24 by American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) President Daniel F. Hayes, MD, FASCO, FACP
“ASCO is concerned by the number of cancer deaths that continue to be caused by cigarette smoking in the United States, as revealed in the American Cancer Society’s study on state-level cancer mortality attributed to cigarette smoking. This research shows that approximately one-third of cancer deaths in men and one-quarter in women were associated with cigarette smoking. Of particular concern is the high proportion of cigarette-related cancer deaths in southern states.
“We are chiefly concerned with the study’s findings there are still 40 million current adult cigarette smokers in the U.S. and that up to 40% of cancer deaths in men are caused by smoking in the southern states. Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of cancer with 480,000 American lives claimed each year by smoking-related illnesses.
“Research shows that individuals with cancer who continue to use tobacco during their treatment have more negative side effects, higher rates of cancer recurrence, and shorter survival than non-users. ASCO advises all current tobacco users with and without cancer to quit.
“Although cigarette smoking has declined significantly since the release of the first Surgeon General’s Report on the health hazards of cigarette smoking in 1964, this research from the American Cancer Society indicates that certain groups in the United States remain at high risk and suffer disproportionately from tobacco-related illness and death. ASCO supports efforts to eliminate tobacco-related disparities in the U.S. as part of its commitment to reducing cancer disparities.
“ASCO has led many efforts to regulate and limit the sale of cigarettes, increase smoking cessation, and decrease initiation of smoking. We continue to support research and meaningful legislation to strengthening tobacco control policies and programs, federally and in all states and localities, to further reduce the burden of smoking-related cancer mortality throughout the entire country.
“We commend the American Cancer Society for their continuous research on the dangers of smoking and keeping this important issue a focus of public health.”
Founded in 1964, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) is committed to making a world of difference in cancer care. As the world’s leading organization of its kind, ASCO represents more than 40,000 oncology professionals who care for people living with cancer. Through research, education, and promotion of the highest-quality patient care, ASCO works to conquer cancer and create a world where cancer is prevented or cured, and every survivor is healthy. ASCO is supported by its affiliate organization, the Conquer Cancer Foundation. Learn more at www.ASCO.org, explore patient education resources at www.Cancer.Net,