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  • Writer's pictureAmy Aspey

The Math Doesn’t Add Up

“Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.”*(1)


Did you know half a million people in the US die each year from smoking related conditions?  That makes it the most preventable cause of death, period!

     Smoking causes about 90% of all lung cancer deaths and about 80% of all deaths from COPD*(2). The tobacco industry makes about $35 billion annually, but it costs us more than $200 billion each year to treat those suffering from smoking related illnesses*(3). In what world does that math make sense?  Is it any wonder our heath care system is buckling under the weight of these debilitating costs?

     Knowing what we know about tobacco’s harmful effects, why is this industry still in business?  Why are more and more products flooding the market attracting new customers?  As if it wasn’t bad enough that we had cigarretts, cigars, snuff, dip, chewing tobacco and pipes, now a whole new product has captivated the market…e-cigarettes.  Vaping has bred new life into the tobacco industry with a whole new way to market a poisonous product.  The slogans write themselves… “E-cigarettes—the healthy alternative to smoking!”  People think that because there is no smoke or tar entering their lungs it is somehow better for them.  More research is needed, but time will show that vaping will pose their own laundry list of diseases and illnesses just like smoking did before it.  By then, however, it will be too late.  The next generation of customers will be addicted and the cycle will continue.

     To break the cycle, you have to attack it all the root…or in this case, the tobacco plant.  Take away the source and you take away the problem.


(1)-“Fast Facts and Fact Sheets | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

(2)-“COPD.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 11 Aug. 2017,

(3)- Paoletti, Luca et al. “Current status of tobacco policy and control” Journal of thoracic imaging vol. 27,4 (2012): 213-9.

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