Female lung cancer deaths up five-fold

The number of women dying of lung cancer has gone up five-fold since 1970 and they are likely to die at a younger age than men, the national statistics office CBS said on Wednesday. Last year, some 9,400 people died of lung cancer in the Netherlands, accounting for some 7% of total deaths.

Because women started smoking heavily at a later date than men, the women’s death rate is still rising, the CBS said. Among the men who die aged 60 to 70 and women who die aged 50 to 60, one in seven will be killed by lung cancer, the CBS said.
Nevertheless, men are still twice as likely to die of lung cancer than women, even though male death rates are falling.
Some 30% of the Dutch aged 12 and over smoke and a similar percentage will have stopped smoking, usually before they reach their early 40s, statistics show.
But fears that stopping smoking could lead to weight gain may be true, the statistics indicate. Ex-smokers are 1.4 times more likely to be overweight than smokers, with female ex-smokers weighing four kilos more than smokers and women who never smoked, the CBS said.
The Netherlands is still struggling to develop a policy for smoking in bars and restaurants, with health minister Ab Klink saying he wants a total ban next year. And although smoking is banned in public buildings and all workers have the right to a smoke-free environment, bar and café workers are exempt from the rules.

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