The Office of the Surgeon General recently released a report that reviewed the health consequences of smoking, entitled “The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress.” The report indicates 151,000 Indiana youth will become smokers and die prematurely, killing 9.5 percent of those age 17 and younger – nearly one out of every 10 Hoosier kids.
The report calls on Americans to make the next generation tobacco free, and Linda Molenda, coordinator for Drug and Tobacco Free Starke County, said the organization will continue to work to support policies that aim to protect community members from the dangers of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.
The report estimates that smoking kills nearly half a million Americans each year and costs more than $289 billion each year in direct medical care and economic loss. On top of that, the report indicates 20 million Americans have died in the last 50 years just from smoking.
The newest report establishes new links between smoking and diseases of nearly all the body’s organs, finding that cigarette smoking causes diabetes, colorectal cancer and liver cancer. Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death not just in Indiana, but the entire country.
Those who quit smoking dramatically reduce their risk for heart attacks, asthma attacks, cancers and other diseases. The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is a free service to help Hoosiers quit smoking for good. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to learn more.
For more information on the Surgeon General’s report, visit