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Tennessee Women Suffering from Increased Lung Cancer Death Rates

A new study shows an increase in lung cancer deaths among Tennessee women who began smoking in the 1960s and 70s. Researchers point out women smokers became much more socially acceptable during that era.

The study is published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, and it showed that lung cancer deaths among Tennessee white women born in 1933 were 50% higher than those born in the 1950s and 60s.

The study was limited to white women because there wasn’t enough data to include other racial or ethnic groups.

A medical oncologist told the Tennessean newspaper lung cancer is now the number one cause of cancer deaths among women, outpacing even breast cancer.

The study found that southern states suffered higher rates of female lung cancer deaths that the rest of nation. Researchers credit states like California with having higher tobacco taxes and stricter anti-smoking policies than are found in the south.

Kevin is the News Director at WKU Public Radio. He has been with the station since 1999, and was previously the Assistant News Director, and also served as local host of Morning Edition.
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