"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns;there are things we know we know.We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns-the ones we don't know we don't know."
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Smoking worse than we already thought: Surgeon General
Fifty years after the release of a landmark surgeon general's report linking cigarette smoking to deadly diseases, the list of those diseases continues to grow.
A new report released Friday lists facial deformities in fetuses, liver and colorectal cancer, diabetes, erectile dysfunction and rheumatoid arthritis among the many health problems associated with tobacco use. (Via The Washington Post, Wikimedia Commons / M. Minderhoud)
And for the first time, it made a distinction between cigarettes and other nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes and nicotine patches. (Via NPR,The Verge)
Behavioral psychologist David Abrams tells NPR, "It implies that less harmful forms of getting one's nicotine — especially if one cannot quit smoking cigarettes — may be acceptable."
When the U.S. surgeon general released the first health report back in 1964, about 42 percent of American adults were smokers. Today, that number has dropped to 18 percent — and the goal of health officials is to reduce that number to 10 percent over the next decade. (Via Businessweek)
About 3.5 million children in middle and high school reportedly now smoke, with more than 3,000 picking up the habit every day. U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak says anything that deters youths from smoking would be helpful.
The Los Angeles Times reports the new report found media images of smoking had become more common in the last two years. (Via Los Angeles Times, AMC)
To reduce those numbers, Lushniak says he would like to partner with the film industry to reduce the amount of smoking shown in movies. (Via Warner Bros. / "Gangster Squad")
In the report, health officials also say exposure to second-hand smoke can increase the risk of stroke by about 30 percent and that half of all long-term smokers will die from a smoking-related disease. (Via The Washington Post)
The report also says today's smokers are at greater risk of developing lung cancer than smokers back in the '60s were because of changes to the design and composition of cigarettes over time.