A new report from the American Cancer Society highlights the tragic toll of smoking-related cancers: 167,000 deaths in the most recent yearly statistics from tobacco-caused cancer alone, not even including additional smoking-based deaths caused by other lung and circulatory problems.
This means the number of cancer victims who perish due to cigarettes exceeds the number of American murders, suicides, terrorist victims and traffic fatalities combined. Interestingly, the rate of smoking-based cancers varies widely from state to state. In Kentucky, more than a third of all cancer deaths derived from cigarettes, but in Utah the rate was only 16 percent. That encouraging number reflected the ban on tobacco products by the Mormon church. But even without religious strictures, every American family can choose to do more to quit smoking, while discouraging the habit in the younger generation. We need to find determination and self-control within ourselves, rather than waiting for government programs to solve deadly but avoidable problems.