Today is the Great American Smokeout, the American Cancer Society-sponsored event that encourages all smokers to kick their habit and aim for better health. You can read a story linked to the smokeout (about a possible anti-smoking vaccine in the works) in today’s Connecticut Post (or by clicking here). Also, here are a few no-so-fun facts about smoking and its various health risks, courtesy of the American Cancer Society.
- Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United Staes.
- Each year, smoking results in an estimated 443,000 premature deaths, of which about 49,400 are in non-smokers as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.
- In the United States, tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths.
- Nearly 47 million Americans still smoke.
- Smoking accounts for $193 billion in health care expenditures and productivity losses.
- Tobacco use accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and 87 percent of lung cancer deaths.
- Tobacco use increases the risk of cancers of the lung, mouth, nasal cavities, larynx, pharynx, esophagus, stomach, colorectum, liver, pancreas, kidney, bladder, uterine, cervix,over and myloid leukemia.
- Cigarette use has had a dramatic decline since the release of the first U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health in 1964. Even so, about 24 percent of men and 18 percent of women still smoked cigarettes in 2009, with almost 80 percent of these people smoking daily.