Smoking is even more deadly today than it was 50 years ago, according to the 32nd Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health, which found that smoking now kills 480,000 Americans each year.
The report, The Health Consequences of Smoking-50 years of Progress, confirmed smoking is responsible for more than 87 percent of all lung cancer deaths and 61 percent of all lung disease deaths.
The American Lung Association cited that women are now as likely as men to get sick and die from smoking-caused diseases – such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is reported that more woman will die from COPD than men. Women are also more likely to develop this condition at younger ages than men.
For the first time ever, the Surgeon General casually links smoking to increased risk for both contracting and dying from tuberculosis. The report also suggest that youth smoking may cause asthma.
“This report underscores the imperative to enact policies that prevent our youth from ever starting an addiction to tobacco,” said Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association. “Tragically, women are now as likely as men to die from lung cancer and COPD, More must be done to help all smokers quit, to reduce all deadly tobacco caused disease,” Wimmer added.
The human and economic burden of tobacco in the United States is overwhelming. Over the last 50 years, 20 million American died from tobacco, which includes 2.5 million people who died as the result of secondhand smoke.
The Surgeon General’s report also underscores the tremendous economic burden caused by tobacco use – $289 billion as much as $333 billion each year. Economic productivity losses exceed $151 billion annually and direct medical costs range from $132 billion to $175 billion annually.
One major conclusion from the report is that the tobacco epidemic is being “sustained by the aggressive strategies of the tobacco industry.” The report highlights the ongoing manipulation of cigarettes by the tobacco industry to cause and young adults to start smoking.
It was stated that for every adults who dies prematurely from a smoking-related cause, more than two youths become replacement smokers. The Surgeon General highlights that if smoking continues at current level, 5.6 million US youth will die prematurely from a smoking-related illness.
“This is a starting and sobering call to action. The White House must empower the Food and Drug Administration to aggressively implement the Tobacco Control Act to regulate all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and cigars,” said Wimmer. “FDA also must move forward with product standards that will reduce death and disease caused by smoking, such as prohibiting menthol cigarettes.”
Regardless of how often one smokes, all smokers will face a higher life insurance premium than non-smokers. Premiums are based on how many cigarettes one smokes a day, per week and throughout the year.
If you are seriously considering buying life insurance, it is advised to stop smoking for you will be paying a rated premium. Individuals who stop smoking for at least one year will see a dramatic difference in premium rates. Quitting will also improve the quality and longevity of your life.