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HHS HealthBeat (January 13, 2014)

Smoking, dying and living

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

It’s been about 50 years since the first Surgeon General’s report warned of the health dangers of smoking, and a study indicates the tobacco-control effort that followed has paid off – although there still is a lot left to do.

At Yale School of Public Health, Theodore Holford used statistical modeling to estimate what might have happened if there were no tobacco control, and compared this to actual death rates:

“Between 17 and 18 million deaths that occurred during this period of time were associated with the use of tobacco – of cigarette smoking. An additional 8 million would have died, we estimate, had this tobacco control not occurred.”

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Learn more at healthfinder.gov.

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January 13, 2014