Source: American Lung Association. Facts on Cigarette Smoking (used with permission).
- Smoking is the single largest preventable cause of premature death and disability in the United States.
- Every year, 350,000 Americans die prematurely from diseases caused by cigarette smoking -- such as lung cancer, emphysema, and coronary heart disease.
- Nicotine addiction is the "most widespread example of drug dependence in our country," according to the U.S. Public Health Service.
- Three-quarters of the adults who currently smoke started their habit before the age of 21; teenage years are critical ones in the habituation of cigarette smokers.
- Nine out of ten smokers say they want to quit.
- The number of Americans who have quit smoking is rising steadily. To date, 36 million Americans have quit smoking.
- Smoking accounts for 85-90 percent of emphysema mortality in America. Once a disease that affected exclusively men, one in four emphysema deaths now occurs among women.
- Lung cancer, already the number one cause of cancer mortality in American men, in 1986 surpassed breast cancer as the leading cancer of American women.
- In 1985 lung cancer killed an estimated 38,600 women -- approximately 84 percent of the 46,000 women who were diagnosed with the disease that year.
- Smokers who have a heart attack have less chance for survival than a person who does not smoke. And by continuing to smoke after a heart attack, the personís chance for a second attack increases.
- Smoking has severe economic consequences for the nation, estimated at a staggering $53.7 billion in total annual costs. Direct costs account for $30.4 billion of the total; there is an additional annual cost of $23.3 billion in lost productivity due to excess morbidity and mortality.
- Smoking is a major risk factor for peripheral vascular disease. This disease is a narrowing of blood vessels that carry blood to the leg and arm muscles. If a blood clot blocks an already narrowed artery, then the result could be the damage or even the loss of an arm or leg.
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MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse
1706 East Elm; P.O. Box 687
Jefferson City, Missouri 65102