With new data suggesting an increasing mortality rate for lung cancer among certain age groups in Wales, Public Health Wales (PHW) has renewed its offer of NHS smoking cessation support for current smokers.
Lung cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related mortality in Wales. It accounted for 2 out of 10 cancer deaths in 2017, higher than the mortality rates for bowel and breast cancers combined. Smoking contributes majorly to premature death and disability in Wales, accounting for >80% of lung cancers and 16% of all cancers.
The latest report from the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit indicates that the decline in mortality rates for several types of cancers, including lung cancer, has decelerated since the early 2010s. The lung cancer mortality rates are substantially higher in more disadvantaged areas compared with least disadvantaged areas, with the gap steadily widening over the last few years.
Ashley Gould, Consultant at PHW, said: "NHS in Wales can help reduce the single biggest cause of lung cancer – by helping smokers to quit. ‘Help Me Quit’ offers free treatment and support that means smokers are four times more likely to quit, than if they go it alone."