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Study shows Inuit have highest lung cancer rate in world.

Nunavut-led surveys indicate that eight in 10 of the territory's mostly Inuit population smokes--a rate five times higher than in the general Canadian population. "Smoking provides huge challenges to our health system, and it has huge societal impacts," said Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami. A new study published in the International Journal of Circumpolar Health tracked rates of various cancers among different ethnic populations around the Arctic. Co-authored by Kue Young, dean of the University of Alberta's public health department, it found cancers that once were rarely seen in the far north, including breast and colorectal, are an increasing concern generally. Most notable is the rising rate of lung cancer among the 165,000 Inuit of Canada, the United States and Denmark. Territorial governments are spending millions in an array of anti-smoking programs, some of them stressing that smoking is not a traditional part of Inuit culture--a message underscored in Nunavut by the tagline "Tobacco has no place here." But life is harsh, said Obed, and having to worry about food scarcity, poverty, and mental health, means smoking is not a primary concern.

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Title Annotation:Health Watch
Author:Narine, Shari
Date:Mar 1, 2016
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