Smoking Causes One-Tenth of Deaths Worldwide

Smoking Causes One-Tenth of Deaths Worldwide
Smoking causes one-tenth of deaths worldwide, according to a new study sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Half of the deaths occur in the United States, China, India and Russia. “Despite more than 50 years of anti-tobacco efforts, smoking remains a leading global risk factor,” researchers wrote in The Lancet . “Its toll will remain substantial without more concerted policy initiatives, policy compliance and enforcement, and sustained political will to offset commercial interests.” The study found almost one in seven people smoked worldwide in 2015—one in four men and one in 20 women, CNBC reports. The study analyzed smoking habits in 195 countries between 1990 and 2015.
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Health Leaders Call For Immediate Action To Curb Smoking In The U.S.

Health Leaders Call For Immediate Action To Curb Smoking In The U.S.
Every year cigarette smoking contributes to about one in five deaths in the United States. A group of prominent health leaders called for the immediate implementation of national action to reduce the number of smokers in the country by 15 million in a report published last week. The call to action aims to curb smoking, the largest cause of preventable death and illness in the United States, by reducing the number of adult smokers from 40 million to 25 million by 2024. The report, which solicited input from 120 key tobacco leaders from different organizations in the United States, found that smoking prevention and quitting rates have made progress among young people, but smoking cessation for adults is lagging. Every year, smoking costs the United States more than $300 billion, of which nearly $170 billion goes directly to health care for adults who have diseases caused by tobacco use. More...
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Study Shows Role of Depression in the Ongoing Tobacco Epidemic

Study Shows Role of Depression in the Ongoing Tobacco Epidemic
The prevalence of smoking has remained fairly stable over the past decade after declining sharply for many years. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed changes in the prevalence of depression among current, former and new smokers in the U.S. to determine whether an increase in certain barriers to successful cessation and sustained abstinence may be contributing to this slowed decline. “The prevalence of depression increased and remains higher among current smokers overall, but the rate of the increase among former and never smokers was even more prominent,” noted Dr. Renee Goodwin, lead researcher. The research indicates that depression remains a real concern for current smokers, noting the significance between smoking and mental health concerns. The concern is prominent with youth smokers, which still remains fairly high in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states: each day in the United States, more than...
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Alcohol and Smoking Linked to Premature Death in Many Cancers

Alcohol and Smoking Linked to Premature Death in Many Cancers
A new study shows that 11 of the 15 cancers responsible for premature death and loss of healthy life years in US residents are closely linked to smoking and alcohol. The report was published online October 18 in the Journal of Preventive Medicine . The loss of healthy years of life is measured as disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). One DALY is the equivalent to loss of 1 year of healthy life and is a combined measure of mortality, incidence, survival, and quality of life. In a story that appeared in Medscape Medical News , the report shows that men and women shared the cancer burden equally, with each group losing 4.9 DALYs of healthy life years. However, the cancer burden was 20% to 30% higher in African Americans than in all races/ethnicities combined. Populations with the next highest DALYs, in descending order, were non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Asians. The...
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Teens Smoking and Drinking Less, Survey Finds

Teens Smoking and Drinking Less, Survey Finds
The rate of smoking and drinking is declining among American teens, a survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) finds. Last year 9.6 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 said they used alcohol in 2015, compared with 17.6 percent in 2002, The New York Times reports. About 20 percent of teens said they smoked last year, compared with 32 percent in 2002. The survey also found that last year, one out of five adults in American met criteria for a mental illness or substance use disorder, but only 3 percent of them received services. “These are potentially life-threatening, disabling conditions,” SAMHSA Principal Deputy Administrator Kana Enomoto said in a news release. “Our country must redouble its efforts to provide evidence-based prevention and treatment services in every community to ensure all Americans get the help and hope they need to lead healthy and productive lives.”
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Adult Smoking Rate Decreased to 15 Percent Last Year

Adult Smoking Rate Decreased to 15 Percent Last Year
Last year 15 percent of American adults smoked, down from 17 percent in 2014, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The decrease was the largest one-year decline in more than two decades, the Associated Press reports. The smoking rate has been decreasing for decades, but generally drops only 1 percent or less annually. About 50 years ago, 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked, the CDC noted. Recent declines in smoking rates are due to anti-smoking ad campaigns, as well as cigarette taxes and smoking bans, experts say. The increasing popularity of e-cigarettes has also likely been a factor in the decline in smoking rates. It is not yet known whether e-cigarettes will help further reduce smoking rates, or contribute to an increase in smoking in the future. Some public health experts are concerned e-cigarettes could create a new way for people to become...
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10% Decline in U.S. Smoking Rate Would Save $63 Billion One Year Later

10% Decline in U.S. Smoking Rate Would Save $63 Billion One Year Later
A new study estimates that a 10 percent reduction in the U.S. smoking rate would result in $63 billion in savings in healthcare costs one year later. Researchers say the cost savings would come from reductions in risks from smoking-related diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes. Fewer babies would be born prematurely, they report in the journal PLOS Medicine . In addition to savings from the healthcare costs of smokers, the nation would also have fewer costs related to the effects of secondhand smoke, HealthDay reports. “Our study shows that significant changes in health care expenditures begin to appear quickly after changes in smoking behavior,” study first author James Lightwood of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), said in a news release. The researchers looked at the healthcare costs associated with smoking nationwide between 1992 and 2009. They found when smokers quit, the risks from smoking-related diseases drop...
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Light Hookah Smokers Have Changes in Airway Cells

Light Hookah Smokers Have Changes in Airway Cells
Even light hookah smoking can cause changes in airway cells, a new study suggests. “With hookah, smoking a bowl is the equivalent of smoking a pack of cigarettes,” study leader Dr. Ronald Crystal, chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, told HealthDay . “When you talk to the hookah smokers, however, there’s a general belief that it is safer than cigarette smoking. We looked at the airways, lower respiratory tract, and in the blood vessels and found biologic abnormalities in all of those who smoked hookah,” he said. The study included 21 young adults who had used hookah for fewer than five years, and smoked about three bowls a week. They were compared with 19 peers who were not hookah smokers. The researchers examined cell samples from participants’ airways. They found hookah smokers had changes in the cells lining the lungs. They also...
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Rate of Mental Disorders Among Smokers is Rising

Rate of Mental Disorders Among Smokers is Rising
The rate of mental disorders among smokers is increasing, a new study concludes. More recent smokers have the highest risk, HealthDay reports. The study analyzed data from 25,000 people. The researchers found that while the national smoking rate has been declining since the 1960s, the percentage of smokers who are nicotine-dependent has been increasing. The risk of substance use disorders rose among all smokers with each decade, regardless of whether they were nicotine-dependent. Smokers who were nicotine-dependent and began smoking in the 1980s were more likely than older smokers to have disorders such as bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders, the researchers report in Molecular Psychiatry . “Our study confirms that recent smokers, though a relatively smaller group than those who started smoking decades ago, are more vulnerable to psychiatric and substance use disorders,” lead author Ardesheer Talati of Columbia University Medical Center said in a university...
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Hookah Use Growing, But Many Questions Remain

Hookah Use Growing, But Many Questions Remain
Hookah smoking is growing increasingly popular among teens and young adults, but there are many questions still unanswered about its safety, according to an expert who is studying the issue. These questions include long-term effects of hookah smoking, the potential health effects for the many users who only smoke hookah a couple of times a month, and whether hookah users are more likely to switch to cigarettes, according to Scott E. Sherman, MD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Population Health at the NYU Langone School of Medicine. He talked about hookah smoking as part of the CASAColumbia Addiction Speaker Series , featuring leading experts in the addiction and substance abuse field. “If hookah smoking leads to regular smoking then we have a really serious problem on our hands,” he said. Dr. Sherman plans to study that question in a long-term study of students at the City University of...
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