8 million lives saved since warning on smoking
Eight million lives have been saved in the United States since the groundbreaking Surgeon General's 50 years ago that warned of the deadly consequences of smoking, according to a study published in JAMA.
The Yale study used mathematical models to calculate long-term effects of the government report, as well as other anti-smoking measures over the past 50 years. Researchers say all of the efforts have reshaped public attitudes and behaviors towards smoking.
The scientists found that 17.6 million Americans have died due to smoking-related causes since 1964, but 8 million lives have been saved since the report was released on Jan. 11, 1964. Of the lives saved, approximately 5.3 million are men and 2.7 million are women. They calculated that the total number of saved lives translates to 157 million years of life saved.
They also found that 31 percent of premature deaths were prevented by the anti-smoking effort, and that today, a 40-year-old man can expect to live an average of 7.8 years longer than he would have in 1964. Roughly 30 percent of that improvement can be attributed to anti-tobacco measures, the researchers concluded.