Early adoption of tobacco control efforts in California lead to fewer people ever smoking, reduced the amount used by those who do smoke and helped smokers quit at a younger age — when their risk of developing lung cancer is lowest. As a result, say the authors of a new study published online October 10 in Cancer Prevention Research, lung cancer deaths are 28 percent lower in California compared to the rest of the country and the gap is widening each year by almost a percentage point.
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center say California’s approach has been particularly effective in discouraging young people from starting to smoke. The state has achieved success by aggressively responding to early evidence linking smoking to lung cancer with policies aimed at discouraging smoking and then, in 1988, by passing a voter initiative to set up the nation’s first comprehensive statewide tobacco control program run by the California Department of Public Health.
“It is clear that from the early days of tobacco control, young people in California became increasing less likely to become addicted smokers,” said John P. Pierce, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Cancer Prevention
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