The rates of new lung cancer cases in the United States dropped among men in 35 states and women in 6 states between 1999 and 2008, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among women, lung cancer incidence decreased nationwide between 2006 and 2008, after increasing steadily for decades.

According to the report, published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the decrease in lung cancer cases corresponds closely with smoking patterns across the nation. In the West, where smoking prevalence is lower among men and women than in other regions, lung cancer incidence is decreasing faster. The report points out that studies have shown declines in lung cancer rates as soon as 5 years after smoking rates decline.

The report also noted that states that make greater investments in effective tobacco control strategies see larger reductions in smoking; and the longer they invest, the greater the savings in smoking-related health care costs. Such strategies include higher tobacco prices, media campaigns, 100% smoke-free policies, and easily accessible quitting treatments and services for those who want to quit.

For this report, researchers analyzed lung caner data from CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries and the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and Results Program. They estimated smoking behavior by state using the CDC’s Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention