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News and Notes   |    
News & Notes
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.653news
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Copyright © 2014 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Surgeon Generals report on smoking: Approximately 5.6 million American children alive today—or one of every 13 children—will die prematurely from smoking-related diseases unless current smoking rates drop, according to a new Surgeon General’s report, The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress. The report comes a half century after the historic 1964 Surgeon General’s report concluded that cigarette smoking causes lung cancer. Over the past 50 years, more than 20 million Americans have died from smoking. The new report concludes that smoking kills nearly half a million Americans each year and that an additional 16 million suffer from smoking-related medical conditions. The report puts the cost of smoking at more than $289 billion a year in direct medical care and other economic costs. The 943-page document cites new evidence that links smoking to diabetes, colorectal and liver cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction, and age-related macular degeneration. Exposure to secondhand smoke is now known to cause strokes. Although smoking rates among youths declined by half between 1997 and 2011, each day 3,200 children under age 18 smoke their first cigarette and another 2,100 youths and young adults become daily smokers. Every adult who dies prematurely from smoking is replaced by two youths and young-adult smokers. To help communicate the report findings as widely as possible, the report is accompanied by a 20-page consumer guide and a 30-second public service announcement video. The report and related materials are available on the Surgeon General’s Web site at www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/50-years-of-progress/index.html.

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