Tobacco control efforts such as cigarette taxes must be expanded to prevent cancer deaths, as research shows it is the top cause of cancer deaths despite lower smoking rates, the American Cancer Society said.

The cancer society released a report on Wednesday calling for an extension of efforts aimed at controlling tobacco smoking, singling out higher taxes on cigarettes as the best strategy.

Tobacco taxes “remain low throughout most of the United States, and the full public health potential of this intervention has yet to be fully realized,” the report said. “State taxes are as low as $0.17 per pack in Missouri and as high as $4.35 in New York State."

The report cited prior research that showed tobacco smoking accounted for nearly 30 percent of all cancer deaths in the U.S. in 2014, making up 173,160 deaths.

A decline in smoking has also led to a decline in cancer deaths overall.

“More than one‐half of the 26% decline in cancer mortality rates that began in 1991 is because of this decline in smoking prevalence,” the report said.

Research shows that smoking rates are declining in the U.S. from a high of 55 percent of adult men to 17.5 percent in 2016. There was a high of 35 percent of women smoking in 1955, which dropped to 17.5 percent in 2016.

Researchers are concerned about the skyrocketing rates of other types of smoking. While rates of traditional tobacco smoking have declined, rates of electronic cigarette and hookah use are on the rise.

[Related: The FDA's assault on vaping is a gift to Big Tobacco]

The Food and Drug Administration initiated a crackdown last April on retailers and makers of e-cigarettes for marketing and selling their products to minors. The goal is to curb extremely high rates of use among teens and adolescents.

“There is evidence in youth that the initiation of e‐cigarette use is associated with an increased likelihood of subsequently initiating conventional cigarette use,” the cancer society’s report said.

The report also made an important caveat that “many eventual [traditional tobacco] users who initiated [e-cigarette] use might have ended up as combustible tobacco users even in the absence of [e-cigarettes].”