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Tobacco’s Toll on Ohioans Continues!

by Melissa B. on Thursday, February 21, 2013

Even though there are proven strategies for preventing people from starting smoking, more than 440,000 Americans still die each year from cigarette smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke. What’s more, another 8.6 million suffer from a serious smoking-related illness.  The related costs are nearly $96 billion in medical expenses. 

Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released their Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012.  The report reiterates the proven strategies states can take to reduce the burden of tobacco use, which includes in the United States:

· Tobacco use takes the lives of approximately 443,000 people annually from tobacco use or exposure to secondhand smoke
· 8.6 million suffer from a serious smoking-related illness
· Associated medical costs are nearly $96 billion
· $97 billion in lost productivity, and
· 5.1 million years of potential life lost in the United States annually.

While Ohio has a comprehensive smoke-free law, the state does come up short in the other categories.  The CDC recommends a multi-pronged approach, including higher tobacco taxes, youth prevention and resources to assist current tobacco users in quitting.  A simple solution for Ohio is to restore funding for comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation by equalizing the Other Tobacco Products tax to the cigarette tax. 

Want to help?  Stay tuned for an upcoming alert on this critical issue!

The reason cigarette smoking is still such a problem in the United States? According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC,) states are not enacting proven policy solutions.   One suggested strategy is comprehensive smoke-free laws.  Along with the help of our advocates, work continues here.    Visit our Take Action center to send your supportive message today or encourage others to send a message through Facebook!

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