Lung cancer rates predicted to drop

LUNG cancer rates in Suffolk could drop dramatically as a result of the smoking ban, it emerged today.

Rebecca Lefort

LUNG cancer rates in Suffolk could drop dramatically as a result of the smoking ban, it emerged today.

Cancer Research UK said that within 15 years the number of people per 100,000 getting the disease could fall from 50 to 40.

The charity said the improvement was linked to the smoking ban, which came into force in July 2007 and has encouraged smokers to stub out their habit.


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Health experts in Suffolk think the trend will be reflected in the county too.

Hilary Andrews, co-ordinator of the Suffolk Stop Smoking Service, said: “If prevalence of smoking rates fall then lung cancer rates will also fall, so that will happen in Suffolk.

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“The problem is the time delay. Lung cancer is something you will get or be at risk of as a smoker, but you don't get it straight away.

“It is something that comes later in life.

“So if smoking prevalence rates drop the knock-on improvement in health doesn't follow until several years later.

“That time delay can be a hindrance in people understanding the health effects.

“Clearly to improve the cancer rates we will need to keep working to keep the prevalence rates down.”

She added that the most work needed to be done with the 20 to 24-year-old age group, which saw the highest rate of smokers.

Smoking causes around 90 per cent of lung cancers and men are more likely to suffer than women due to the fact they have been more likely to smoke.

Jean King, Cancer Research UK's director of tobacco control, said: "These figures highlight just how effective tobacco control measures can be and how important it is for work to continue in this area.

"We know that nine in ten cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking but that one in five people still smoke, so it's vital we all work to protect future generations from this scourge."

For more information about quitting smoking visit www.suffolkstopsmokingservice.co.uk or call 0800 085 6037.

Have you been hit by lung cancer? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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