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Curbing Smoking Critical in Fight Against Chronic Disease

February 3, 2014

According to The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General, although significant progress has been made, smoking remains the most preventable cause of death and disease in the U.S. Nearly half a million Americans die prematurely from smoking each year, and more than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking. While smoking rates are declining, the estimated economic costs attributable to smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke continue to increase - now approximately $300 billion annually, with direct medical costs of at least $130 billion and productivity losses of more than $150 billion a year. Clearly, this is an unsustainable trajectory and must continue to be a focus of efforts to achieve better overall health and to make productive health care reforms.

One of every three cancer deaths can be attributed to smoking. Most typically thought of as the main cause of lung cancer, smoking is now known to contribute to diseases of nearly all organs of the body. On February 4, World Cancer Day, the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) implores all Americans to take steps to improve their health. Stopping tobacco use, eating better, and exercising can help lower cancer risks dramatically. Why not mark World Cancer Day by making healthier choices that will help you prevent cancer and other chronic conditions?