Arkansas Cancer Coalition

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Arkansas Lung Cancer Rates Declining

 “The drop in the nations’ rates of lung cancer has been trending down for years.  Finally we are seeing that in Arkansas. 

Arkansas Lung Cancer Rates Declining

 Little Rock, AR   — A new analysis of lung-cancer data suggests tobacco control efforts are having a major impact on Americans’ health.  Nationally, the rate of new lung cancer cases decreased in the U.S. from 2005 to 2009, according to a report in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

 “The drop in the nations’ rates of lung cancer has been trending down for years.  Finally we are seeing that in Arkansas. Further, we are seeing a statistically significant drop in rates from 2005 – 2009 that may be even faster than the nation’s,” said Dr. Wheeler, Medical Director for the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.  “While our incidence and rates of lung cancer and mortality is nearly 1/3 higher than the nation, fewer people in Arkansas are starting to smoke and more are quitting.”

“There is a dramatic decline in the number of young adults with lung cancer which shows tobacco prevention and control programs work –when they are applied,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Tom Frieden, M.D., MPH.  He went on to say, “While lung cancer incidence rates are dropping in the U.S., one preventable cancer is one too many.  Implementation of tobacco control strategies is needed to reduce smoking prevalence and the lung cancer it causes.”

“Unfortunately, here in Arkansas the incidence and mortality of lung cancer in women continues to rise.  We need to make an even stronger effort to encourage women not to smoke,” Dr. Wheeler explains.  “The impact of women’s smoking goes beyond the direct impact on their own health.  Smoking during pregnancy leads to complications for the unborn child.  And it can lead to infections, asthma and other complications from secondhand smoke.”

Tobacco costs Arkansas nearly $2 billion in direct health and indirect economic costs every year.  A recent study in the American Journal of Public Health found that for every dollar spent by tobacco prevention and control programs in 2000 and 2009, more than five dollars were saved by reducing hospitalizations for heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and cancer caused by tobacco.

To learn more about how you and your family can participate in tobacco control initiatives, visit  Parents lead by example.  If you are a tobacco user and want to quit, the Arkansas Tobacco Quitline can help.  Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more about free nicotine replacement therapy and other services.  Youth can discover ways to stand up to Big Tobacco and engage with their peers by visiting the Project Prevent Facebook page at

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The Arkansas Cancer Coalition helps facilitate and provide partnerships to reduce the human suffering and economic burden from cancer for the citizens of Arkansas.

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