Background: This study compared temporal trends in incidence rates for the major histological types of lung cancer in areas of California (CA), which started a comprehensive state tobacco control program in 1989, and other selected geographic areas for which data on long-term trends were available.
Methods: Age-standardized incidence rates (ASIRs) within age 25-64 years, most likely to have been affected by tobacco control programs, were compared for lung-bronchus adenocarcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and small cell carcinoma in 1992-2005 for non-Hispanic whites in three areas of CA in the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program vs. 10 non-CA SEER areas. For 1985-2005, data were available for all whites in the San Francisco-Oakland CA SEER area and eight non-CA SEER areas.
Results: ASIRs were roughly similar in CA and non-CA areas in 1992, but declines from 1992 to 2005 were larger in CA than non-CA areas for each histological type. In San Francisco-Oakland CA, declines were not clearly evident from 1985 to 1988 (before the tobacco control program started) but from 1992 to 2005 declines were larger than in the non-CA areas.
Conclusions: These findings provide further support for expansion of statewide tobacco control programs, in order to reduce incidence rates for all histologic types of lung cancer.