CANCER FORUM: African-American Californians Urged to Quit Smoking
Almost 63,400 African-Americans are expected to die from cancer this year -- 10,500 from lung cancer -- with 30% to 40% of the lung cancer cases caused by smoking related diseases, the Alameda Times-Star reports. Indeed, blacks suffer higher incidence of smoking-related disease than any other group. American Cancer Society President Dr. Charles McDonald told a crowd of some 375 people at a town hall meeting in Oakland this week, "Black men are 70% more likely to develop prostate cancer, and black women are 20% more likely to die from breast cancer." The tobacco industry, McDonald noted, spends $8 billion a year targeting the African-American community. A cigarette brand called "X" -- supposedly named after Malcolm X -- was pulled from stores after blacks protested the marketing ploy. Dr. Mike Charles, an Oakland surgeon, stated that "lung cancer is the most preventable form of cancer, but 30% to 40% of the cases are related to smoking. ... 10,500 blacks will die this year from lung cancer." Meeting attendees agreed that they "want to see tobacco settlement revenues used to pay for educational programs to reduce tobacco consumption rates" (Bailey, 10/20).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.