When I operated on hearts and lungs every day to do my best to fix the underlying devastating and life-shortening disease, I’d always think, “If only this could be prevented.” And it can, by stopping smoking.
Ever since we recognized the health risks of smoking tobacco nearly 75 years ago, the world’s doctors, policy makers, and concerned citizens have united to prevent the nearly 6 milliondeaths that happen each year worldwide as a result of tobacco use. In the United States alone, one in five deaths is due to cigarette smoking, which translates to 1,300 people per day. The number is expected to rise in the coming years.
In fact, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death.
On this World No Tobacco Day, I urge us to keep our eye on that prize: prevention of debilitating tobacco-related illnesses, premature deaths, and the extraordinary costs to our communities and companies that ensue.
If we reduce smoking and prevent smoking-related deaths, smokers will enjoy an extra ten years of life with their families. The U.S. can reduce the more than $300 billion a year in economic impact due to medical care and lost productivity. That is $300 billion that could be spent on education, a better life for our families, or reduced taxes. Globally, we will save $1.4 trillion.
Read more on Forbes.com.
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