An estimated eight million lives have been saved in the United States as a result of the anti-smoking measures that began 50 years ago this month with the release of the ground-breaking Surgeon General of the United States’ report outlining the deadly consequences of tobacco use. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the Yale School of Public Health-led analysis used mathematical models to calculate the effect of the seminal report and subsequent anti-smoking measures over the past half century. These cumulative efforts have significantly reshaped public attitudes and behaviors concerning cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.
Dr. Theodore R. Holford, professor in the department of biostatistics, and six other researchers that are part of the NCI’s Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network (CISNET) found that while some 17.6 million Americans have died since 1964 due to smoking-related causes, eight million lives have been saved as a result of increasingly stringent tobacco-control measures that commenced with the report’s January 11, 1964, release. Of the lives saved, approximately 5.3 million were men and 2.7 million women. The total number of saved lives translates into an estimated 157 million years of life, a mean of 19.6 years for each beneficiary.
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