Friday, April 13, 2012

Fears Over Rising Lung Cancer Rate In Women

High rates of smoking among women in the "Mad Men" era of the 1960s is having a shocking effect decades later, new figures show.

Statistics released by Cancer Research UK show that more than 18,000 British women were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009.

The disease now affects 39 in every 100,000 women, compared to 22 in every 100,000 in 1975.

The charity says there is a time lag of two to three decades between high smoking rates and a rise in cancer cases.

In the 1960s, more than 45% of women smoked. Today just 20% smoke.

By contrast, rates of lung cancer in men are falling.

Male smoking rates peaked - at 65% - two decades earlier than in women, and have been falling since. Now 22% of men smoke.

Jean King, director of tobacco control at Cancer Research UK, said: "These latest figures highlight the deadly impact of tobacco.

"The continuing rise of lung cancer in women reflects the high number of female smokers several decades ago when attitudes were different.

"Tobacco advertising hasn't appeared on UK television since 1965, but that didn't stop the marketing of cigarettes. New, more sophisticated marketing techniques have lured many hundreds of thousands into starting an addiction that will kill half of all long term smokers."

The charity says restrictions on tobacco advertising, cigarette displays and public smoking are likely to lead to fewer people getting hooked.

Irene Finlayson developed lung cancer after smoking 20-a-day for 45 years. She had her right lung removed and is now too breathless to even walk up the road.

"Teenagers think they are invincible, that nothing will harm them. But I know what cigarettes do.

"I hate them now. I feel sorry for the young folk smoking and wish they had never started."


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