Tobacco: A Winnable Battle
Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world. Tobacco killed one hundred million people worldwide in the 20th century — and if current trends continue, it will kill one billion people in the 21st century. Every year, tobacco kills more than 480,000 Americans and six million people worldwide.
A Winnable Battle
We know how to win the fight against tobacco. Science and experience have identified proven, cost-effective strategies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke. These strategies include:
- Higher tobacco taxes
- Laws requiring smoke-free workplaces and public places
- Well-funded programs, including mass media campaigns, that prevent kids from starting to smoke and help smokers quit
- Increasing the age of sale for tobacco products to 21
- Regulation of the manufacturing, marketing and sale of tobacco products
These proven solutions save millions of lives and billions in health care costs.
On a separate note, it is important to point out that Kentucky is one of the unhealthiest states in our nation; but, a few healthy lifestyle choices could change this. First, eating normally proportioned helpings of nutritious foods including at least five fruits and vegetables a day can lower weight and reduce heart disease and diabetes. Second, exercising about 30 minutes per day can lower blood pressure. Third, avoiding the use of tobacco products can reduce several types of cancer. Finally, making sure you get your needed preventive screenings can detect diseases early and greatly increase your chances for a positive health outcomes, while receiving your recommended vaccinations can prevent acquiring disease in the first place.