Published on January 17, 2014

Dr. Oza weighs in about new smoking study

WJXT- Channel 4

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This year marks 90 years since the Surgeon General released information that smoking causes lung cancer. And now a new report is out claiming that smoke something worse than scientists ever knew. More than 20 million Americans died from smoking since the first report was released 50 years ago, including more than 2 million people from secondhand smoke.

The report released today says smoking is even more dangerous than first thought. The Surgeon General summed up his message in simple terms. Eough is enough despite 50 years of warnings. According to today's report, cigarette smoking still kills nearly half a million Americans every year and millions more suffer from smoking-related health problems. The report also adds even more diseases to the list of health ailments caused by smoking.

Today we know that smoking is the cause of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and poor response to treatment of arthritis. erectile dysfunction, increased risk of tuberculosis, disease and death. We're adding colon, rectal and liver cancer to the long list of cancers caused by smoking and stroke is now a known consequence of secondhand smoke exposure. We spoke to a local heart doctor who told us he's not at all surprised by the new report.

"There's really nothing I can do that would help them more than quit smoking. There's no medication I could give or procedure I could do that will help them more than quitting smoking," said Oza.

Kathleen Sebelius also weighed in today saying we've made progress, just not enough.

"Our nation's smoking rate is half today from what it was in 1964. but the fact of the matter is even with this progress, tobacco use is still the leading cause of prevent it'll death and disease. both in our country and across the world." And if nothing changes, the report issued this dire warning. one out of every 13 children alive today, roughly 5.6 million. will die early from smoking-related diseases notice the current smoking rate drops.

"You're spending your money on something that's gonna kill you in the end," said Oza. "There's no good effects from cigarette smoking, nothing really known that this is gonna benefit you at all. It's really just harming you in every way possible."

Pretty sobering to hear. Far fewer Americans are smoking than ever before, about 18% of adults. But health professionals hope to lower that number to 12% by the year 2020.

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