NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas is among the states, in the west, leading a national decline in the rate of new lung cancer cases.

Six states, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Florida and Texas, saw significant drops in numbers, especially among women.

Roughly 90-percent of lung cancer cases are attributed to smoking. Lung cancer rates for men have been declining for years, but the drop among women is much more recent.

“In the last year or two we’ve also started to see the turnaround in women and Texas was one of six states that had, had a reduction for women,” explained
Dr. Marcus Plescia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director of Cancer Prevention and Control.

The drops in numbers are due, in part, to local tobacco prevention initiatives.

“Many of the municipalities in Texas, particularly many of the bigger areas, passed local ordinances, so they’ve effectively done the same thing [reduce numbers] and we think that’s probably part of what’s paying off as well,” Plescia said.

Texas is also one of the states shifting away from using tobacco taxes for hard-hitting tobacco prevention campaigns. Plescia said that’s unfortunate.

“Texas is among them. And this is concerning; because although these are economic hard times we know that as far as revenue from tobacco, revenue from tobacco is better that it’s ever been, but these states are somehow shifting away from using that.”

Lung cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States and kills the most people. According to the American Cancer Society, this year alone, some 150,000 Americans will die of lung cancer.