Fifty years after the first Surgeon General’s report on tobacco in 1964, the latest report highlights improvements in American’s smoking habits, as well as a potentially new hazard for Americans’ health.
Smoking cigarettes kills about half a million Americans every year, and 16 million Americans are living with smoking-related health problems. These are costing the nation more than $289 billion each year in medical care and related costs.
The report acknowledged a new way of smoking — with electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, which are tobacco products with lower nicotine levels. More young people are using these products; the number of middle school and high school students who use e-cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012.
“We need to monitor patterns of use of an increasingly wide array of tobacco products across all of the diverse segments of our society, particularly because the tobacco industry continues to introduce and market…
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