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New Survey Highlights Emotional, Financial Toll Multi-Generational Tobacco Use Takes on Parents Sandwiched In Between
Date:7/14/2009

ith issues related to both their parents and children smoking. Nationwide, this small percentage translates to more than 10 million Americans in this situation.

The survey highlights the unique position of this group of Americans and their concerns about the impact of the nation's number-one preventable cause of death on their emotional and financial well-being. Treating tobacco-related disease is enormously expensive for families and for the healthcare system. A 2007 American Legacy Foundation report found that America's Medicaid system could spend nearly $10 billion less within five years if all Medicaid beneficiaries who smoke, quit. Effective smoking prevention and cessation programs could cut Medicaid costs by 5.6 percent.

Results from this survey also found that while just over a third of respondents are concerned about their own kids smoking, 56 percent of all respondents feel that a national youth smoking prevention campaign will keep kids from lighting up. Almost half (49 percent) think that a national quit smoking campaign will help reduce healthcare costs across the country.

"As healthcare reform and the economy dominate our headlines, we simply cannot ignore the burden of smoking on the health of America's families," said Cheryl G. Healton, DrPH. "This snapshot into the lives and concerns of this segment of our population reinforces the urgency with which more resources are needed to return money and lives as dividends," she said. This is especially important given one in five of those concerned about their parents say the healthcare costs associated with smoking are impacting their family's financial situation more than ever.

Late last year, the foundation commissioned an online survey by Harris Interactive analyzing the impact of the economic crisis on smokers. In that survey, 77 percent of smokers report increased stress levels due to the current state of the economy
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SOURCE American Legacy Foundation
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