Kentucky Ranks Highest in Lung Cancer Rates

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According to a new report, more Kentuckians contract lung cancer than people from any other state.

The study is the largest ever comparing state-by-state cancer rates and it shows that Kentucky men topped the national average by 52 percent in 1999. More than 2,300 men were diagnosed with lung cancer. Women's lung cancer rates also beat the national average by 32 percent with 1,598 women being diagnosed with cancer.

The American Cancer Society says 87 percent of those diagnosed with lung cancer contracted it because they smoked cigarettes. The remaining 13 percent was caused by second-hand smoke, radon, asbestos, arsenic, cigars and pipes.

The recently released study concerning Kentucky's ranking comes on the heals of a new ad campaign aimed at teens and parents. The Kentucky Health Investment for Kids organization says raising cigarette taxes will saved thousands of lives.

The American Cancer Society is hoping that you'll join other Americans looking to kick the habit. The Great American Smoke Out is this Thursday, Nov. 21. The 25-year-old event encourages tobacco users to quit for the day and possibly for good.

The American Cancer Society estimates that 3,900 Kentuckians will be diagnosed with lung cancer this year. Extended Web Coverage

The Great American Smokeout: Thursday, Nov. 21

  • Quitters will find camaraderie and support on November 21 when thousands of Americans avoid tobacco use for the day or for good.

  • For 25 years more smokers have kicked the habit during the Great American Smokeout than any other day of the year.

  • The concept dates from the early '70s when Lynn Smith, publisher of the Monticello Times of Minnesota, announced the first observance and called it "D Day."

  • The idea caught on in state after state until in 1977, it went nationwide under the sponsorship of the American Cancer Society.

  • If past Smokeouts are any indication, as many as one-third of the nation's 46 million smokers could be taking the day off from smoking.


  • You just quit smoking for the 24 hours of the Smokeout.

  • The wonderful thing is that you won't be alone; you can swap advice, jokes and groans with the other "quitters," nonsmokers and the American Cancer Society volunteers who will be cheering you on.

  • Even if you don't go on to quit permanently, you will have learned that you can quit for a day and that many others around you are taking the step, too.

American Cancer Society

  • Behind the festivities of the Great American Smokeout are thousands of hard-working American Cancer Society volunteers who visit schools, malls and workplaces to publicize the events and distribute information about quitting.

  • ACS also enlists nonsmokers to "adopt" smokers for the day, supporting them with advice and snacks. The support continues for those who decide not to return to smoking after the Great American Smokeout is over.

Source: (American Cancer Society Web site) contributed to this report.