Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Big news: smoking is bad for you

My last post (forgive the unintentional pun) was about someone killing themselves, and coincidentally so is this one. A new study in the USA has confirmed, in unequivocal and all-too-graphic statistical terms, what most sensible people already knew: smoking is bad for you.
The study concluded that almost 29% of all cancer deaths in the USA are attributable to smoking (23% in women and 34% in men). So, not only is smoking bad for you, it's VERY bad for you. And this does not include deaths from various other diseases that are often linked to smoking. Nor does it include deaths from second-hand smoke, pipes, cigars, e-cigarettes, etc. Also, the data depends on self-reporting, and so could well be understated.
An estimated 8 million premature deaths have been prevented by tobacco control efforts, and yet such controls in some parts of the country remain quite weak: only about a third of US states prohibit smoking in public places; no state fulfilled the WHO's recommenderecommendation for a75% tax on cigarettes; only 7% of states provided comprehensive coverage for smoking cessation treatments under Medicaid; etc.
Geographically, the numbers are highest in southern states like Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana, where the vast majority of American tobacco is grown, where tobacco controls are weaker and cigarettes cheaper, and where there is economic and commercial pressure in favour of the industry.
The writing is on the wall, people; all you have to is read it and act upon it.

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