Epidemiology of Smoking

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Smoking is the number one preventable risk and cause of disease and death. Tobacco kills more people than car crashes, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and alcohol, drugs, suicides and murders combined, and effects smokers and nonsmokers alike. A nonsmoker on average lives 13 to 14 years longer than a smoker does. Although we have made strides in reducing the prevalence of smoking in the country, it is still an important problem that continues to cause morbidity and mortality. Secondhand smoke exposure also affects nonsmokers and causes lung cancer. When children are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, mostly in the predominant location of the home, smoking increases their incidence of asthma, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), ear infections, and respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Smoking affects all ages, young and old. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) statistics for the prevalence of smoking in adults in Colorado, aged 18+ years, is 16.0%, and the prevalence of smoking among the youth in Colorado, aged 12-17 years is 15.7%. Adult’s aged 35+ had a mortality rate of 237.6 per 100,000 during 2000-2004 that were linked to smoking. The prevalence of smoking among adults has slowed the last five years, due to interventions of workplace tobacco control and decreased exposure to secondhand smoke, but it did not meet the Healthy People 2010 objectives. The CDC performed a National Health Interview Survey

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