"The Health Consequences of Smoking: Cancer," overview of a report of the Surgeon General

Public Health Rep. 1982 Jul-Aug;97(4):318-24.


Cancer is the second most frequent cause of death in this country. Unlike deaths from other major diseases, cancer deaths have continued to increase in the last several decades, because of the rise in cancer deaths attributable to cigarette smoking, and in particular, to the risk in deaths from lung cancer. The total number of cancer deaths attributable to smoking is shown in table 4. Off 401,000 such deaths observed in 1978, a total of 122,000 or 30 percent may be attributed to smoking. These included some 80,000 deaths from lung cancer and 13,000 deaths from cancer of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, or esophagus. In all, 43 percent of cancer deaths among males and 15 percent among females were attributed to cigarette smoking. Applying this 30 percent figure to the estimated number of cancer deaths in 1982 results in an estimated 129,000 cigarette-related cancer deaths.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking*
  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution
  • United States


  • Tobacco Smoke Pollution