More people in Wisconsin will die from cancer this year than from any other cause, according to the new report Wisconsin Cancer Facts and Figures 2013.
An estimated 11,220 Wisconsinites will die from cancer this year — the first year cancer has surpassed heart disease as the state’s leading cause of death.
In particular, lung cancer remains the state’s top cancer killer, claiming nearly 2,100 lives this year. Approximately 90 percent of lung cancer cases are caused by smoking.
The reduction in youth smoking means we should start to see fewer smoking-related cancer deaths in years to come, but past success doesn’t guarantee future progress. Progress needs to continue to tackle important tobacco issues. The ‘Backpack Tobacco Act’ has been introduced into the legislature which would end tax dodges and ensure all tobacco products are taxed at the same rate as cigarettes.
Currently some tobacco products, specifically so-called “little cigars,” are taxed at a rate much lower than the state’s $2.52 per pack cigarette tax simply because they’re wrapped in brown paper. These products sometimes sell for as little as $1 in comparison to the $6 to $7 per pack price of traditional cigarettes. Price is proven to be one of the most effective means to deter youth smoking and help adults to quit.
While curbing lung cancer continues to be a challenge in Wisconsin, other findings in the report show the state is making progress. From 1995 to 2010 the mortality rates for prostate, colon and breast cancer declined significantly. For breast cancer — which is the most common cancer among Wisconsin women — the death rate declined by 28 percent, due in part to early detection and improved treatment.
If you smoke and want to quit, or know someone who does, call the Wisconsin Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669). You’ll talk to a friendly quit coach who will send you a free two-week supply of quit-tobacco medications, plus help you develop strategies on how to quit that are just right for you. The QuitLine has already helped more than 130,000 callers just like you.