Since the first Surgeon General’s report on smoking was released in 1964, research continues to show that smoking is bad for your health. Tobacco-related disease is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. A smoker is likely to die 10 years sooner than someone who has never smoked. But being a nonsmoker does not make a person immune to the problems caused by smoking. Children who live in households with a smoker are more likely to have asthma. Secondhand smoke is shown to increase heart disease, lung disease, sudden infant death syndrome, certain cancers and other conditions. The risk of developing heart disease increases 25% to 30% for nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke, and the risk of developing lung cancer increases 20%-30%. Smokeless forms of tobacco are also harmful to the user. Chewing tobacco and snuff contain 28 cancer-causing agents. Smokeless tobacco increases the risk of lip, tongue, cheek, gum and mouth cancer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20% of adults, or 48.5 million Americans age 18 and older, were current cigarette smokers in 2012. The 2013 Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey found that 25% of adults in our region are current smokers. Smoking rates are higher in rural counties and among low-income adults in our region.
Therefore, Interact for Health believes that local, state and federal entities’ and public service institutions’ policies should create tobacco-free environments in spaces that are used by the general public.