Almost 29% of cancer deaths among U.S. adults aged 35 years and older were attributable to cigarette smoking in 2014, according to investigators from the American Cancer Society.

Of the 585,000 cancer deaths among those 35 years and older that year, more than 167,000 (28.6%) were estimated to be the result of cigarette smoking, reported Joannie Lortet-Tieulent, MSc , and her associates at the ACS in Atlanta (JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Oct 24. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6530 ).

Kentucky had the highest proportion of cancer deaths attributable to cigarette smoking at 34.0%, followed by Arkansas (33.5%), Tennessee (32.9%), West Virginia (32.6%), and Louisiana (32.6%). Utah was in a class by itself at the low end of the scale with a smoking-attributable cancer mortality of 16.6%, with California next highest at 25.5%, they said.

Among men aged 35 years and older, 33.7% of U.S. cancer deaths were attributable to cigarette smoking, compared with 22.9% for women. Arkansas had the highest rate (39.5%) for men and Kentucky had the highest rate (29.0%) for women. Not surprisingly, Utah had the lowest rate for both men (21.8%) and women (11.1%), according to the analysis of data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. For men, Utah was the only state with a rate below 30%.

The investigators did not report any conflicts of interest. The study was supported by the intramural research department of the American Cancer Society.


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