Leader in Cancer Deaths

Cancer Observance Calendar
Lung Cancer Awareness Month
AND The Great American Smokeout

Lung Cancer:
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for lung cancer in the US for 2023 are:

*About 238,340 new cases of lung cancer
(117,550 in men and 120,790 in women)
*About 127,070 deaths from lung cancer
(67,160 in men and 59,910 in women)

Most people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older; a very small number of people diagnosed are younger than 45. The average age of people when diagnosed is about 70. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death in the US, accounting for about 1 in 5 of all cancer deaths. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.
On a positive note, the number of new lung cancer cases continues to decrease, partly because more people are quitting smoking (or not
starting). The number of deaths from lung cancer continues to drop as well, due to fewer people smoking and advances in early detection and treatment.
Tobacco Smoke – Smoking is by far the leading risk factor for lung cancer. About 80% of lung cancer deaths are thought to result from
smoking, and this number is probably even higher for Small Cell Lung Cancer. It is very rare for someone who has never smoked to have
Small Cell Lung Cancer. The risk of lung cancer for people who smoke is higher than for people who don’t smoke. The longer you smoke and the more packs a day you smoke, the greater your risk.
Cigar Smoke – Cigar smoking and pipe smoking are almost as likely to cause lung cancer as cigarette smoking. Smoking low-tar or “light”
cigarettes increases lung cancer risk as much as regular cigarettes. Smoking menthol cigarettes might increase the risk even more since the menthol may allow people to inhale more deeply.
E-Cigarettes – E-cigarettes are a type of electronic nicotine delivery system. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, so the Food and Drug
Administration classifies them as “tobacco products”. E-cigarettes are fairly new, and more research is needed to know what the long-term effects might be, including any possible increased risk of developing lung cancer.
Secondhand Smoke – If you don’t smoke, breathing in the smoke of others (called secondhand smoke) can increase your risk of developing lung cancer. Secondhand smoke is the third most common cause of lung cancer in the United States.

The Great American Smokeout:
For more than 40 years, The American Cancer Society has hosted The Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November. This year, it is Thursday, November 16 th . The Great American Smokeout is an opportunity for people who smoke to commit to healthy, smoke-free lives – not just for a day, but year-round. About 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single largest preventable cause of death and illness in the world. Each year more than 480,000 people in the United States die
from illnesses caused by smoking. This means each year smoking causes about 1 out of 5 deaths in the United States.

Research shows that people who smoke are most successful in their efforts to stop smoking when they have support…such as…The American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide support, from questions about quitting smoking to looking for national or local resources. The number to call is…1-800-227-2345 or they can go to

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a leading cancer-fighting organization with a vision to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. For more than 110 years, we have been improving the lives of people with cancer and their families as the only organization combating cancer through advocacy, research, and patient support.  We are committed to ensuring everyone has an opportunity to prevent, detect, treat, and survive cancer. To learn more, visit or call our 24/7 helpline at 1-800-227-2345.


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