Chapter

Thank You for Not Smoking: The Public Health Response to Tobacco-Related Mortality in the United States

Michael P. Eriksen, Lawrence W. Green, Corinne G. Husten, Linda L. Pederson and Terry F. Pechacek

in Silent Victories

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780195150698
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199865185 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195150698.003.20
 Thank You for Not Smoking: The Public Health Response to Tobacco-Related Mortality in the United States

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Given the broad acceptance of the cigarette in society, the dramatic reduction in smoking over the 20th century is an extraordinary achievement. During the last third of the century, smoking rates and per capita consumption of cigarettes were cut in half, and exposure to second hand smoke declined dramatically. As a result, more than one million deaths potentially caused by tobacco were avoided, resulting in gains in life expectancy and quality. This chapter reviews the actions attributed to this achievement, including the dissemination of scientific information on the dangers of active and passive smoking, clinical strategies to help persons quit smoking, and the legal and economic strategies to create disincentives for tobacco use. The marketing of tobacco continues resulting in a continual state of action and reaction between private industry and public health. Despite the health advances, smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death for American men and women.

Keywords: public health; 20th century; smoking; tobacco use; cigarettes; cancer prevention; lung cancer; second hand smoke; passive smoking; life expectancy

Chapter.  6694 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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