Lung cancer in women at lowest for 30 years

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Lung cancer deaths among women have fallen to the lowest level for 30 years in a delayed effect of the backlash against smoking in the Seventies, a survey shows. Last year, 4,550 women under 70 died of the disease. In 1988, nearly 6,000 died.

Lung cancer deaths among women have fallen to the lowest level for 30 years in a delayed effect of the backlash against smoking in the Seventies, a survey shows. Last year, 4,550 women under 70 died of the disease. In 1988, nearly 6,000 died.

Campaign groups said they expected the downward trend in women to continue for 10 years but they were concerned that the drop in the number of smokers had begun to level off.

Smoking among women peaked in the late Seventies and Eighties when tobacco companies directed marketing and advertising campaigns at them. The anti-smoking group Ash says the popularity of cigarettes was further boosted by the women's liberation movement. Smoking among men peaked in post-war years and a gradual decline in male smokers from the late Fifties led to an improvement in lung cancer statistics 20 to 30 years later.

Sir Richard Peto, of Cancer Research UK, said: "This fall is because more women are giving up smoking. Half of the people who keep smoking will eventually be killed by their habit but stopping works surprisingly well."

Steve Crone, chief executive of the charity Quit, said: "More than 70 per cent of smokers want to break their addiction." January is Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

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