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Friday, February 13, 2015

Smoking is More Deadly Than We Thought

It is no secret that smoking cigarettes can be deadly; and it can be tied to a number of forms of cancer and disease. A new report has found that the number of Americans who die from smoking-related diseases is significantly higher than previously estimated, The New York Times reports. It’s somewhat hard to believe that the problem could get any worse when you consider that every year in this country smoking was already linked to nearly half a million deaths, from 21 diseases and 12 types of cancer.

In the new study, researchers analyzed health data from almost one million people who were followed for 10 years, giving them the ability to tie at least five diseases and 60,000 more deaths a year in the United States, according to the article.

“The smoking epidemic is still ongoing, and there is a need to evaluate how smoking is hurting us as a society, to support clinicians and policy making in public health,” said researcher Brian D. Carter of the American Cancer Society. “It’s not a done story.”

The new research indicated that smoking can cause:
  • Kidney Disease
  • Intestinal Disease
  • Increased Risks of Infection
  • Types of heart and lung diseases previously not associated with tobacco.
“The number of additional deaths potentially linked to cigarette smoking is substantial,” study co-author Eric J. Jacobs, PhD, said in a news release. “In our study, many excess deaths among smokers were from disease categories that are not currently established as caused by smoking, and we believe there is strong evidence that many of these deaths may have been caused by smoking. If the same is true nationwide, then cigarette smoking may be killing about 60,000 more Americans each year than previously estimated, a number greater than the total number who die each year of influenza or liver disease.”

The findings were published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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