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Smoking Death Toll Higher Than Previously Thought, Says Study

By    |   Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 12:17 PM

The death toll related to smoking is much higher that previously thought because tobacco use could be causing other diseases, suggests a study published Thursday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

Officially, the U.S. surgeon general lists 21 fatal diseases that are caused by smoking, reported National Public Radio. The new study, funded by the American Cancer Society, tracked nearly a million people for 10 years and documented their cause of death.

Led by Eric Jacobs, strategic director of pharmacoepidemiology at the American Cancer Society, the study found that researchers are likely missing numerous other smoking-related deaths.

"A substantial portion of the excess mortality among current smokers between 2000 and 2011 was due to associations with diseases that have not been formally established as caused by smoking," reads the study's conclusion of the New England Journal of Medicine study. "These associations should be investigated further and, when appropriate, taken into account when the mortality burden of smoking is investigated."

The New York Times reported smoking's connection to things like lung cancer, artery disease, heart attacks, chronic lung disease and stroke are well known. In the new research, scientists found that smoking also significantly increased the risk of kidney disease, intestinal disease caused by inadequate blood flow, and heart and lung ailments,

Brian D. Carter, an epidemiologist at the American Cancer Society, told the Times that with all the bad news in the public sphere about smoking, millions continue to participate.

"The smoking epidemic is still ongoing, and there is a need to evaluate how smoking is hurting us as a society, to support clinicians and policy making in public health," said Carter. "It's not a done story."

Dr. Norman Edelman, a senior consultant for scientific affairs at the American Lung Association, told the U.S. News & World Report that it is never too late to quit smoking to start healing the body from smoking.

"This study tells us that we have a huge amount of work to do in terms of controlling the use of tobacco," said Edelman. "Stopping smoking at any time, even if you are old and sick, will extend your life. Don't smoke. Don't let kids start smoking."

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The death toll related to smoking is much higher that previously thought because tobacco use could be causing other diseases, suggests a study published Thursday by the New England Journal of Medicine.
smoking, death, toll, higher
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2015-17-12
Thursday, 12 Feb 2015 12:17 PM
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