California’s Anti-Smoking Efforts Lead to Lower Cancer Rates, Fewer Deaths
Anti-smoking efforts in California have led to reduced cigarette consumption -- about 50% less than the national average -- according to a new report from the University of California-Davis, Reuters Health reports. Researchers compared smoking habit data and new cancer cases reported in California with statistics from the rest of the country between 1988 to 1998, finding that the state's "tobacco control programs ... are effective not only in reducing smoking but also in reducing new cancer cases and death." The report, released at the CDC's 2001 Cancer Conference, shows a "significantly greater drop" in new cases of lung, pancreas, mouth and throat, and bladder cancers in California compared with the rest of the country. According to Reuters Health, researchers determined that since California passed a 1988 state law that increased the surtax on cigarettes by 25 cents per pack, rates of "all types of cancer in the state have dropped by more than 13%." Funds generated from the increased state tax on cigarettes go toward anti-smoking campaigns and programs. Lead researcher Dr. Bruce Leistikow said, "It really takes the synergies between counter-advertising, secondhand smoke reduction [and] taxation" to yield the kind of results found in California. The study also found that the United States "showed a cumulative excess" of nearly 200,000 cancer deaths in the last 10 years compared to California (Earle, Reuters Health, 9/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.