Daily Archives: November 25, 2010

Warning Against Menthol Cigarettes Ban

Newport menthol cigarettesSILVER SPRINGS, Md. — The majority of speakers at a public hearing on menthol cigarettes had a consistent message: Banning menthol would likely lead to a black market.

Missouri study shows racial gap in mortality from heart disease, cancer

An estimated 443,000 deaths in the United States occur each year as a result of cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. These deaths cost the nation approximately $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in health-care costs. During 2000-2004 in Missouri, smoking caused 9,600 deaths, 132,000 years of potential life lost (YPLL), $2.4 billion in productivity losses, and $2.2 billion in smoking-related health-care expenditures annually. To limit the adverse health consequences of tobacco use, states implement comprehensive tobacco control programs that identify disparities among population groups and target those disproportionately affected by tobacco use. This report compares the public health burden of smoking among whites and blacks in Missouri by estimating the number of smoking-attributable deaths and YPLL in these population subgroups during 2003-2007. The findings indicate that the average annual smoking-attributable mortality (SAM) rate in the state was 18% higher for blacks (338 deaths per 100,000) than for whites (286 deaths per 100,000). The relative difference in smoking-attributable mortality rates between blacks and whites was larger for men (28%) than women (11%). For Missouri, these estimates provide an important benchmark for measuring the success of tobacco control programs in decreasing the burden of smoking-related diseases in these populations and reaffirm the need for full implementation of the state’s comprehensive tobacco control program.