Welcome!

News Feed Item

New Surgeon General's Report Shows Cigarettes Are More Deadly Today than 50 Years Ago

WASHINGTON, Jan. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO)

Fifty years after the first Surgeon General's report on smoking and health, the new Surgeon General's report released today shows that cigarette smoking is even more hazardous than previously thought.  This report documents that smoking causes even more diseases, kills even more people and costs the nation even more in medical bills and other economic losses – by a wide margin – than has previously been reported.  There are three clear conclusions to be drawn from this groundbreaking report:

  • While our nation has made remarkable progress in the past 50 years and cut smoking rates by more than half (from 42.4 percent in 1965 to 18.1 percent in 2012), tobacco use continues to have a uniquely devastating impact on the health of individual Americans and the nation as a whole. Each year, smoking kills 480,000 Americans – causing about one out of every five deaths in the U.S.  It costs the nation at least $289 billion in medical bills and lost productivity, which is nearly $100 billion more than previously reported. Without urgent action to reduce smoking, 5.6 million children under age 18 alive today will die prematurely from smoking-caused disease.
  • Shockingly, cigarettes are more deadly today than they were 50 years ago because of actions taken by the tobacco industry.  The report concludes that smokers' risk of death from all causes, compared to those who never smoked, has gone up significantly over the past 50 years. It also finds that "today's smokers – both men and women – have a much higher risk of lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) than smokers in 1964, despite smoking fewer cigarettes" (Executive Summary, p. 1).  The report points to changes in the design and composition of cigarettes as the only reasonable explanation for the increased risk of lung cancer.
  • All of the deaths, diseases and costs caused by tobacco use are entirely preventable by implementing proven strategies developed over the past 50 years.  This report leaves no doubt that we know what to do to end the tobacco epidemic – significantly increase tobacco taxes, enact comprehensive smoke-free air laws in every state, conduct hard-hitting mass media campaigns, fully fund state tobacco prevention and cessation programs, provide tobacco users with access to treatments that can help them quit, and effectively implement the Food and Drug Administration's regulatory authority over tobacco products, including graphic warning labels.  We know what to do, but have lacked the political will required to get the job done. It is time to fight the tobacco epidemic with a level of urgency and action that matches the enormous scope of the problem. We cannot afford another 50 years of death and disease caused by tobacco.

Cigarettes Have Become More Deadly

The report shows that cigarettes are more deadly today than they were 50 years ago.  Its findings include:

  • During the past 50 years, smokers' risk of death from all causes, compared to non-smokers, has more than doubled in men and more than tripled in women. The report concludes: "The evidence is sufficient to infer that the relative risk of dying from cigarette smoking has increased over the last 50 years in men and women in the United States." (Executive Summary, p. 7 and 11)
  • Since 1959, the lung cancer risk for people who never smoked has stayed about the same, but the risk for smokers increased steadily.  The lung cancer risk increased tenfold for female smokers and doubled for male smokers. (Executive Summary p. 6)
  • The report links the increase in lung cancer risk among smokers to changes in the design and composition of cigarettes: "The evidence is sufficient to conclude that the increased risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung in smokers resulted from changes in the design and composition of cigarettes since the 1950s."  The increased risk of adenocarcinoma is the reason for the overall increase in lung cancer. The report adds, "The evidence is not sufficient to specify what design changes are responsible for the increased risk of adenocarcinoma, but there is suggestive evidence that ventilated filters and increased levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines [a carcinogen] have played a role." (Executive Summary, pages 6 and 8)

It is deeply disturbing that 50 years after the tobacco industry and the public learned conclusively that smoking causes lung cancer, cigarettes are even more dangerous and pose an even greater risk of lung cancer.  Even worse, no government agency had the power to find out about it, prevent the changes that caused it or do anything about it until Congress granted the FDA authority over tobacco products in 2009.  In light of the new report, the FDA must make it a priority to regulate how tobacco products are made and take action to stop tobacco industry practices that make their products even more harmful or addictive.

Tobacco Kills and Costs Even More

The new report drives home the magnitude of the harm resulting from tobacco use, which is the nation's number one cause of preventable death. Key findings include:

  • Over the past 50 years, more than 20 million Americans have died as a result of smoking, including 2.5 million nonsmokers who died from heart disease or lung cancer caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • The report adds several more diseases to the long list caused by smoking, including colorectal and liver cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. In 1964, the Surgeon General concluded definitively that smoking causes lung cancer.  Today, we know that smoking causes at least 13 types of cancer.
  • Smoking causes 480,000 premature deaths annually among Americans, an increase from the previous estimate of 443,000. 
  • The economic costs of smoking are far greater than previously thought.  These costs total $289-$332.5 billion a year, including $132.5-$175.9 billion for direct medical care of adults, $151 billion for lost productivity due to premature death and $5.6 billion for lost productivity due to exposure to secondhand smoke.  Previous estimates put the annual economic costs at $193 billion, including $96 billion in health care costs and $97 billion in lost productivity.

A Road Map for Ending the Tobacco Epidemic

Last week, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and six other public health and medical organizations called for bold action to achieve three goals: 1) Reduce smoking rates to less than 10 percent within 10 years; 2) protect all Americans from secondhand smoke within five years; and 3) ultimately eliminate the death and disease caused by tobacco use.

The new report confirms that we have scientifically proven strategies to achieve these goals and lays out a detailed road map for implementing these strategies more aggressively than ever before.  Specific actions called for by the report include:

  • Continuation and expansion of national media campaigns such as the CDC's Tips from Former Smokers campaign and the FDA's upcoming youth prevention campaign. The report calls for conducting such campaigns "at a high frequency level and exposure for 12 months a year for a decade or more."
  • Increasing cigarette taxes to prevent kids from smoking and encourage smokers to quit.
  • Effective implementation of the FDA's authority over tobacco products "in order to reduce tobacco product addictiveness and harmfulness."
  • Fulfilling the Affordable Care Act's requirement that health plans provide coverage for tobacco cessation treatment, including counseling and medication.
  • Fully funding state tobacco prevention and cessation programs at CDC-recommended levels. Currently, only two states (North Dakota and Alaska) meet that standard, and most states fall woefully short.
  • Enacting comprehensive smoke-free laws that protect all Americans from secondhand smoke.  Currently 24 states, Washington, DC and hundreds of cities have such laws, protecting 49.1 percent of the U .S. population.

It is now the responsibility of elected officials at all levels of government to fully implement these recommendations.  The status quo is unacceptable.  We cannot and will not claim victory until every child is tobacco-free and we have eliminated the death and disease caused by tobacco.  It must not take another 50 years.

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Identity is in everything and customers are looking to their providers to ensure the security of their identities, transactions and data. With the increased reliance on cloud-based services, service providers must build security and trust into their offerings, adding value to customers and improving the user experience. Making identity, security and privacy easy for customers provides a unique advantage over the competition.
Qosmos has announced new milestones in the detection of encrypted traffic and in protocol signature coverage. Qosmos latest software can accurately classify traffic encrypted with SSL/TLS (e.g., Google, Facebook, WhatsApp), P2P traffic (e.g., BitTorrent, MuTorrent, Vuze), and Skype, while preserving the privacy of communication content. These new classification techniques mean that traffic optimization, policy enforcement, and user experience are largely unaffected by encryption. In respect wit...
Kubernetes, Docker and containers are changing the world, and how companies are deploying their software and running their infrastructure. With the shift in how applications are built and deployed, new challenges must be solved. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, will discuss the implications of containerized applications/infrastructures and their impact on the enterprise. In a real world example based on Kubernetes, he will show how to ...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
Is the ongoing quest for agility in the data center forcing you to evaluate how to be a part of infrastructure automation efforts? As organizations evolve toward bimodal IT operations, they are embracing new service delivery models and leveraging virtualization to increase infrastructure agility. Therefore, the network must evolve in parallel to become equally agile. Read this essential piece of Gartner research for recommendations on achieving greater agility.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...