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Lung Cancer Rate for Blacks No Longer Exceeds That of Whites

Healthy changes in African American smoking behavior credited for positive results

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Black Americans have cut back on cigarette smoking in the past 60 years and — for the most part — eliminated racial disparities that historically found higher lung cancer rates among Blacks than whites, according to research from the American Cancer Society.

In a study published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, the researchers found lung cancer rates have been on the decline for decades but have dropped at a steeper rate for Blacks. As a result, Blacks born since 1967 are no longer more likely to get lung cancer than whites. The study notes that historically higher smoking rates for Blacks no longer exist for those born since 1965.

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Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States with about 80 percent of the total 154,000 deaths recorded each year caused by cigarette smoking, according to the American Cancer Society.

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