Anti-Smoking Strategies Have Saved Lives

An analysis shows that the various anti-smoking strategies in the US over the last 50 years have saved around eight million lives.

The results of the analysis were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and they show that the average lifespan of a person who has given up smoking has increased by around 20 years. In January 1964, the surgeon general published a report that detailed the risks of smoking.

Various control measures have been in place since that time, some of them are highlighted in the video below:

Measures put into place by the US government since then have included better education on the dangers of smoking, higher taxes on cigarettes, laws to guarantee smoke-free air, campaigns in the US media, sales restrictions and treatment programs to help smokers to quit.

Those who carried out this analysis looked at how many fewer deaths had occurred as a result of people quitting the habit compared with how many people would have died if they had not. The analysis estimated that between 1964 and 2012, 17.7 million people died as a result of their smoking habit.

The analysis concluded that these measures had made a substantial contribution to public health over the last 50 years. However, smoking is still a large health problem in the US, with one fifth of adult Americans continuing to smoke. Other studies have revealed that those who suffer from mental health problems are less likely to quit smoking than others. One reason for this is a lack of access to cessation treatment.