SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Lung cancer deaths are 28 percent lower in California than in the rest of the country, likely due to the state's early adoption of tobacco control programs, according to a study published Wednesday by researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
The state government responded quickly and aggressively to early evidence that tied smoking tobacco to lung cancer and enacted policies to combat tobacco-related deaths especially among young people, according to researchers. California also launched the first tobacco control program in the country in 1988, run by the California Department of Public Health. UCSD researchers published their findings online in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.
"It is clear that from the early days of tobacco control, young people in California became increasing less likely to become addicted smokers," said Dr. John P. Pierce, UCSD professor emeritus and lead author of the study. "What we saw is that among people under 35 years old, the combination of a 39 percent lower initiation rate, 30 percent lower consumption of cigarettes among those who did smoke, and a 24 percent higher early quit rate meant that young Californians now have much less exposure to cigarette smoking than those of similar age in the rest of the country."
The research team analyzed smoking behavior data collected from 1974 to 2014 in the National Health Interview Survey and lung cancer data collected between 1970 and 2013 in the national Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results program. The sample totaled 962,174 U.S. residents, 10 percent of whom lived in California.
Lung cancer mortality rates for Californians age 35 or older declined from 108 per 100,000 people in 1985 to 62.6 per 100,000, according to UCSD Moores Cancer Center Director Dr. Scott Lippman, a decline 33 percent faster than the rest of the country. Lippman suggests that the decline in tobacco- related lung cancer deaths is a direct result of California's efforts to curb tobacco use.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smokers are up to 30 times more likely than non-smokers to develop lung cancer. Researchers advise that the lung cancer mortality rate would be even lower if current smokers cut tobacco out of their lives.
"Quitting smoking at any age will improve a person's quality of life," Pierce said. "But quitting before the age of 35 could help smokers avoid nearly all the negative health effects of smoking. Quitting by age 50 could reduce a person's risk of disease by almost half."
UCSD researchers received partial funding from the California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program for the study.
Sheriff's deputies arrested more than two dozen people as part of a warrant sweep in South Bay on Saturday -- including a man who tried to resist being taken into custody.
At least one person was killed and three were injured in a crash on state Route 163 in Balboa Park early Saturday morning.
The city of San Diego's Environmental Services Department hosted an automotive product recycling event on Saturday at San Diego Miramar College.
San Diego Habitat for Humanity dedicated the first four homes of an affordable housing community in Logan Heights on Saturday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom moved Friday to bypass environmental regulations to prepare for the next wildfire season, a move he said was necessary to prevent further loss of life even as it frustrated activists in a state viewed as a national environmental leader.
Henry Avocado Corporation is voluntarily recalling California-grown whole avocados sold in bulk at retail stores because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in San Diego County rose on Saturday to its highest amount since Sept. 2, 2015, increasing 3.6 cents to $3.462, one day after recording its largest daily increase since Nov. 4, 2017 -- 3.8 cents.
A 21-year-old man was stabbed early Saturday morning after he got into an argument with three males over the volume of music that was playing.
Active Valor, the combat veteran non-profit organization in San Diego, will host its fifth Valor Adventures of the year in Bonsall on Sunday at Rawhide Ranch.