Reducing Tobacco-Related Cancer Incidence and Mortality: “Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in United States, causing more than 440,000 deaths annually and resulting in $193 billion in health-related economic losses each year–$96 billion in direct medical costs and $97 billion in lost productivity. Since the first U.S. Surgeon General’s report on smoking in 1964, more than 29 Surgeon General’s reports, drawing on data from thousands of studies, have documented the overwhelming and conclusive biologic, epidemiologic, behavioral, and pharmacologic evidence that tobacco use is deadly. This evidence base links tobacco use to the development of multiple types of cancer and other life-threatening conditions, including cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths, and 80 percent of lung cancer deaths. Despite the widespread agreement on the dangers of tobacco use and considerable success in reducing tobacco use prevalence from over 40 percent at the time of the 1964 Surgeon General’s report to less than 20 percent today, recent progress in reducing tobacco use has slowed. An estimated 18.9 percent of U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, nearly one in four high school seniors smoke, and 13 percent of high school males use smokeless tobacco products.”
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