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FOR RELEASE: November 16 , 2005
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications

Lung Cancer Awareness Highlighted, Smoking Cessation Urged

In recognition of National Lung Cancer Awareness Month and the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on Thursday, Nov. 17, the Oklahoma State Department of Health urges all smokers to seek help in quitting smoking.

Oklahoma ranks third in the nation for the number of cases of lung and bronchus cancer in men and women. According to the National Cancer Institute, key facts related to lung cancer and smoking include the following:

  • Cigarette smoking causes 87 percent of lung cancer deaths.
  • Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemical agents, including over 60 substances that are known to cause cancer.
  • The risk of developing smoking-related cancers, as well as non-cancerous diseases, increases with total lifetime exposure to cigarette smoke.
  • Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits, including decreasing the risk of lung and other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease.

“Lung cancer rates in Oklahoma are almost 20 percent higher than the nation as a whole,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher. “For Oklahoma to reverse this disturbing trend, we must continue to take all effective steps to prevent youth from starting to smoke, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, and encourage all smokers to quit smoking for their own health and for the sake of their loved ones.”

For free cessation assistance, smokers are urged to call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669). For additional information regarding health problems caused by tobacco use, please contact the Tobacco Use Prevention Service or the Chronic Disease Service at the Oklahoma State Department of Health at (405) 271-5600.


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