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Important Facts for Cancer Deaths - Lung Cancer


Lung Cancer Deaths per 100,000 population in New Mexico


Number of lung cancer deaths


New Mexico population

Why Is This Important?

Among New Mexicans, lung cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women, and is the leading cause of cancer death overall. Approximately 90% of lung cancer cases in men and 80% in women are attributable to cigarette smoking (New Mexico Cancer Plan 2012-2017). Tobacco smoke contains at least 70 chemicals known to cause cancer in people or animals. People who smoke cigarettes are 15 to 30 times more likely to die from lung cancer than people who do not smoke.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the lung cancer death rate

U.S. Target: 45.5 deaths per 100,000 population

Other Objectives

New Mexico Cancer Plan 2012-2017 Objectives: 1) By 2017, increase by 10% the proportion of adult smokers who saw a health care provider in the past year who were advised to quit smoking, from a 2009 baseline of 79% to 87%. 2) By 2017, decrease by 25% the proportion of NM middle school youth who have smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, from a 2009 baseline of 6.8% to 5.1%. 3) By 2017, decrease by 25% the proportion of NM high school youth who have smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days, from a 2009 baseline of 24% to 18%. 4) By 2017, decrease by 14% the proportion of NM adults who currently smoke cigarettes, from a 2010 baseline of 18.5% to 16%. 5) By 2017, increase by 7% the proportion of NM adult smokers who have tried quitting in the past year, from a 2010 baseline of 60.7% to 65%. New Mexico Community Health Status Indicator (CHSI)

How Are We Doing?

The rate of death from lung cancer in New Mexico rose slightly during the 1980s, stabilized in the early 1990s, and has generally decreased in the most recent years.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The rate of death from lung cancer in New Mexico is lower than the the rate for the U.S. in all years over the past two decades.

What Is Being Done?

The New Mexico Department of Health's Tobacco Use Prevention and Control (TUPAC) Program and its partners use a comprehensive, evidence-based approach to promote healthy lifestyles that are free from tobacco abuse and addiction among all New Mexicans. TUPAC follows recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and works with communities, schools, and organizations across the state to implement activities and services that decrease the harmful and addictive use of commercial tobacco. Activities include: tobacco-free public high school and post-secondary campuses policy development, smoke-free multi-unit housing, point-of-sale marketing strategies, tobacco cessation services, public awareness and education campaigns, and initiatives to reduce health disparities. Other key tobacco prevention and control activities in the state are funded through the Department of Indian Affairs and the Human Services Department (Synar and FDA Programs).

Evidence-based Practices

Addressing tobacco use is best done through a coordinated effort to establish tobacco-free policies and social norms, to promote quitting tobacco and assist tobacco users in quitting, and to prevent initiation of tobacco use. This comprehensive approach combines educational, clinical, regulatory, economic, and social strategies. Research has documented strong or sufficient evidence in the use of the following strategies: - Increasing the unit price of tobacco products. - Restricting minors' access to tobacco products, and by restricting the time, place, and manner in which tobacco is marketed and sold. - Strategic, culturally appropriate, and high impact health communication messages (mass media), including paid TV, radio, billboard, print, and web-based advertising at state and local levels. - Ensuring that all patients seen in the health care system are screened for tobacco use, receive brief interventions to help them quit, and are offered more intensive counseling and low- or no-cost cessation medications. - Providing insurance coverage for tobacco use treatment, and phone- and web-based cessation services are effective and can reach large numbers of tobacco users. - Passage of laws and policies in a comprehensive tobacco control effort to protect the public from secondhand exposure. To potentially prevent some lung cancer deaths through early detection and treatment, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in adults aged 55 to 80 years who have a 30 pack-year smoking history and currently smoke or have quit within the past 15 years. Screening should be discontinued once a person has not smoked for 15 years or develops a health problem that substantially limits life expectancy or the ability or willingness to have curative lung surgery. Sources: (1) CDC. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs - 2014 ( (2) The Guide to Community Preventive Services: Tobacco Use - 2010 ( (3) The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force: Lung Cancer Screening Recommendation Summary - 2013 (

Health Program Information

Visit the TUPAC website at
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Content updated: Fri, 21 Dec 2018 12:48:24 MST