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Study estimates tobacco control in US has saved 8 million lives in last 50 years
Date:1/7/2014

64 and 2012. Overall, an estimated reduction of 8.0 million premature smoking-attributable deaths (or "lives saved") were associated with tobacco control during this time period (5.3 million men and 2.7 million women). More than half of these, 4.4 million, occurred before age 65 years. The estimated number of lives saved each year has increased steadily over time.

From 1964-2012, it is estimated that overall, a gain of 157 million years of life was associated with tobacco control, 111 million for men and 46 million for women. "This suggests that individuals who avoided a premature smoking-related death gained 19.6 years of life on average (157 million years divided by 8.0 million lives saved)," the authors write.

For the population as a whole, life expectancy for men at age 40 years has increased 7.8 years. Without tobacco control, the estimated increase would have been 5.5 years. "Hence, 2.3 years or 30 percent of improved life expectancy for men is projected to be associated with tobacco control. In women, life expectancy at age 40 years increased 5.4 years, but without tobacco control, it would have been projected to increase by only 3.8 years. Tobacco control appears to be associated with 1.6 years of the improvement in life expectancy for women or 29 percent of the gain."

"Tobacco control has made a unique and substantial contribution to public health over the past half century. This study provides a quantitative perspective to the magnitude of that contribution."

"Despite the success of tobacco control efforts in reducing premature deaths in the United States, smoking remains a significant public health problem," the researchers write. "Today, a half century after the surgeon general's first pronouncement on the toll that smoking exacts from U.S. society, nearly a fifth of U.S. adults continue to smoke, and smoking continues to claim hundreds of thousands of lives annually. No other behavior comes close to contributing so h
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Contact: Helen Dodson
helen.dodson@yale.edu
203-436-3984
The JAMA Network Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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