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FLORIDA HEALTH CARE COST CONTAINMENT BOARD REPORTS ON CIGARETTE SMOKING AND CANCER

 FLORIDA HEALTH CARE COST CONTAINMENT BOARD
 REPORTS ON CIGARETTE SMOKING AND CANCER
 TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Cigarette smoking kills 390,000 Americans annually. In 1989, 26,500 Floridians died from smoking-related diseases such as lung, tongue and gum cancers. According to statistics reported by the American Cancer Society, one out of every six deaths in the United States is blamed on smoking.
 In 1990, cigarette smoking reached its lowest level in more than three decades. In 1955, when the Center for Disease Control began monitoring smoking activity, 42 percent of Americans smoked; by 1990 that figure had dropped to 25.5 percent. Yet smoking still claims a higher percentage of lives than does AIDS, drug abuse, car accidents and homicides combined.
 Smoking will consume over $2.5 billion in Florida this year, according to statistics from the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. Most of these costs are borne by employers and individuals as medical care, sick days, lost productivity, and funeral expenses.
 In Florida, consumers can expect to be billed an average charge of $10,225 for hospital treatment of smoking related disorders, according to a free consumer booklet, "Don't Let Your Health Go Up In Smoke," released by the State of Florida Health Care Cost Containment Board (HCCB).
 "In this publication, HCCB addresses the enormous impact that tobacco use has on the financial and physical well-being of Florida consumers by displaying some of the costs associated with treatment of diagnoses associated with smoking-related disorders," said Linda Patterson, director of Legislative and Information Services for HCCB.
 "It also includes information about the medical risks of tobacco use and offers wellness suggestions to help smokers kick the habit," she added. To obtain a free copy of "Don't Let Your Health Go Up in Smoke" call HCCB toll-free, 800-342-0828 or write: Smoking, c/o HCCB, 325 John Knox Road, Suite 301/Atrium Building, Tallahassee, Fla. 32303.
 Tobacco use in the single most preventable cause of death and diseases in the United States. Between 1964 and 1985, approximately 750,000 smoking-related deaths were avoided or postponed as a result of decisions to quit smoking or not to start," according to statements made by U.S. Surgeon General. In the United States, 1.5 million people quit smoking each year, but as many as 50 million adults continue to smoke.
 This brochure is intended to illustrate the high medical costs of diseases and illnesses associated with tobacco use, to describe some known health risk factors for those who smoke and to offer tips on how to stop smoking.
 Smoking is one of the most difficult habits to break because nicotine is physically addicting to the brain and nervous system, but it can be done. Local chapters of the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society have a variety of materials to assist smokers in quitting or in locating support groups.
 "Quitting pays" for individuals who succeed in stopping. Ten years after quitting, the mortality rate of former smokers is approximately the same as those who have never smoked, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
 -0- 6/26/92
 /CONTACT: David Coley, director of public information of the Florida Health Care Cost Containment Board, 904-922-5765/ CO: Florida Health Care Cost Containment Board ST: Florida IN: HEA SU:


AW-SS -- FL002 -- 4135 06/26/92 10:16 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 26, 1992
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