Magazine article FDA Consumer

New Surgeon General's Report Expands List of Smoking-Related Diseases

Magazine article FDA Consumer

New Surgeon General's Report Expands List of Smoking-Related Diseases

Article excerpt

A new report on smoking and health released by U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., shows for the first time that smoking causes diseases in nearly every organ of the body. Published 40 years after the surgeon general's first report on smoking--which concluded that smoking was a definite cause of three serious diseases--this newest report finds that cigarette smoking is conclusively linked to many other diseases and conditions.

"We've known for decades that smoking is bad for your health, but this report shows that it's even worse than we knew," Carmona said in releasing the report in May 2004. "The toxins from cigarette smoke go everywhere the blood flows."

According to the report, smoking kills an estimated 440,000 Americans each year. On average, men who smoke cut their lives short by 13.2 years, and female smokers lose 14.5 years. The economic toll exceeds $157 billion each year in the United States--S75 billion in direct medical costs and $82 billion in lost productivity.

In 1964, the surgeon general's report announced medical research showing that smoking was a definite cause of cancel, of the lung and voice box (larynx) in men and chronic bronchitis in both men and women. Later reports concluded that smoking causes other diseases, such as cancers of the bladder, esophagus, mouth, and throat; cardiovascular diseases; and reproductive effects.

The new report, titled The Health Consequences of Smoking: A Report of the Surgeon General, expands the list of illnesses and conditions linked to smoking. …

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