Article: Congress Must Not Weaken Nation’s Fight Against Tobacco!
Monday, October 19, 2015
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
"While the United States has made tremendous progress in reducing smoking, tobacco use continues to take an enormous toll not just on the nation’s health, but on its finances as well.
Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of death, claiming the lives of more than 480,000 Americans each year and sickening millions more.
Less well known is the fact that smoking costs the nation about $170 billion in annual healthcare expenditures, about 60 percent of which is paid by taxpayers through government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. According to a December 2014 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, smoking-related diseases each year account for 9.6 percent of Medicare expenditures, 15.2 percent of Medicaid expenditures and nearly a third of expenditures from other federal government-sponsored insurance programs.
Given tobacco’s huge health and financial toll, including on the federal budget, it is good news that the federal government in recent years has taken several strong steps to accelerate progress against tobacco use. "
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