Just the Facts: State-Specific Smoking-Related Cancer Deaths - 2014 Estimates

December 3, 2016
Since 1964, tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke prematurely claimed the lives of more than 20 million Americans. Tobacco use is responsible for 480,000 premature deaths each year and almost $300 billion in health care costs and lost productively. Additionally, tobacco use is a pediatric epidemic with almost 90 percent of adult smokers starting as kids. Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of premature death in the U.S.
 
Cigarette smoking is responsible for about one-third of all cancer deaths in the nation overall. A new study from the American Cancer Society provides state-level estimates of the number of adult deaths from smoking in 2014. The study concludes that for men at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths were attributable to smoking in all states except for Utah (21.8 percent). For women, at least 20 percent of all cancer deaths were caused by smoking in all states except for California (19.1 percent), Hawaii (19.0 percent) and Utah (11.1 percent). The study goes on to say that the geographic differences are not surprising with the states having the least tobacco control measures in place also having the higher mortality rates.
 

The southern states had the highest proportion of smoke-related cancer deaths, including nine of the top ten states for men and six of the top ten states for women

Number and Proportion of Cancer Deaths Attributable to Smoking in 2014 

 
These estimates represent the number of adults 35 years of age and older whose deaths were due to smoking related cancers. For example, in Alabama in 2014, 3,183 adults died from smoking-related cancer representing 31.3 percent of all cancer deaths in the state. Alabama has the 8th highest proportion of smoking-related cancer deaths in the U.S.
 
State Smoking-Attributable Cancer Deaths Proportion of Cancer Deaths Attributed to Smoking (%) Rank (by Proportion)
Alabama 3,183 31.3 8
Alaska 296 31.4 6
Arizona 3,246 28.7 22
Arkansas 2,175 33.5 2
California 14,689 25.5 50
Colorado 1,876 25.7 49
Connecticut 1,774 27.0 40
Delaware 591 30.3 14
District of Columbia 310 28.2 27
Florida 12,596 29.4 18
Georgia 4,816 29.2 20
Hawaii 641 26.0 48
Idaho 731 26.6 46
Illinois 7,114 29.3 19
Indiana 4,099 30.6 12
Iowa 1,793 27.8 34
Kansas 1,587 28.6 23
Kentucky 3,452 34.0 1
Louisiana 3,044 32.6 5
Maine 927 29.0 21
Maryland 2,900 27.3 37
Massachusetts 3,565 28.1 31
Michigan 6,232 29.8 17
Minnesota 2,552  26.7 45
Mississippi 1,992 30.8 11
Missouri 4,047  31.3 7
Montana 581 28.4 25
Nebraska 927 27.1 39
Nevada 1,535 30.9 10
New Hampshire 723 27.0 41
New Jersey 4,388 26.7 44
New Mexico 964 28.2 28
New York 9,296 26.5 47
North Carolina 5,844 30.5 13
North Dakota 341 27.0 42
Ohio 7,598 30.1 15
Oklahoma 2,441 31.1 9
Oregon 2,143 27.5 35
Pennsylvania 7,931 27.9 33
Rhode Island 631 28.3 26
South Carolina 2,962 30.1 16
South Dakota 476 28.2 29
Tennessee 4,613 32.9 3
Texas 10,310 26.9 43
Utah 2,979 16.6 51
Vermont 382 28.1 32
Virginia 4,110 28.1 30
Washington 3,298 27.4 36
West Virginia 1,581 32.6 4
Wisconsin 3,081 27.3 38
Wyoming 251 28.5 24

*Lortet-Tieulent J. Goding Sauer, A, Siegel, RL, Miller, KD, Islami, F, Fedewa, SA, Jacobs, EJ, Jemal A. State-Level Cancer Mortality Attributable to Cigarette Smoking in the United States. JAMA Internal Medicine. Published online October 24, 2016.

 

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network supports a comprehensive approach to addressing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke in the United States. Our advocacy strategy includes:

  • Increasing the price of all tobacco products through significant and regular tobacco tax increases
  • Implementing comprehensive smoke-free policies in communities and repealing preemption laws
  • Fully funding and sustaining evidence-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs, including ensuring access to clinical cessation services
  • Working with the Food and Drug Administration to effectively implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to comprehensively regulate tobacco products and marketing

ACS CAN works in partnership with federal, state and local policymakers across the country to ensure that tobacco use is addressed comprehensively in each community