New study shows smoking deaths highest in the south

9 of the top 10 states for male cigarette-linked cancer deaths are in the south

(CNN) – Smoking is still one of the leading causes of preventable death in the United States. Now, a new study sheds light on the number of Americans dying and where it’s happening.

The number of U.S. cancer deaths attributable to cigarette smoking is highest in the American south. That’s according to research published in the online journal “Jama Internal Medicine.”

Doctors with the American Cancer Society analyzed smoking-prevalence data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They found that smoking caused nearly 40-percent of cancer deaths among men in Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky and West Virginia.

In fact, nine of the top ten states for male cigarette-linked cancer deaths are in the south, along with six of the top ten states for smoking related cancer deaths in women. Researchers think this is due to a variety of factors, including cheaper cigarettes and weaker tobacco control policies.

The study found that smoking caused nearly 29-percent of all cancer deaths among Americans over the age of 35. Some 40 million adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes. Smoking remains the largest preventable cause of death from cancer and other diseases.