What is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S.?
Our recent poll asked the important question “What is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S.?” The answer, not shockingly, is tobacco use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year cigarette smoking causes about one of every five deaths, and exposure to secondhand smoke is estimated to cause 41,000 deaths among adults. In addition, smoking is still common among youth – each day more than 3,200 youth aged 18 years or younger try cigarettes for the first time, and an additional 2,100 youth and young adults become daily cigarette smokers.
Although we have made progress in the U.S. in reducing tobacco use, these devastating numbers still show how much work needs to be done. We need to invest in more prevention and implement policies across the country that have been successful in certain states, e.g., higher tobacco prices, smoke-free laws and effective restrictions on advertising and marketing. If we work together, we can save lives from something that is completely preventable.