Report: Smoking Causes Diabetes and Colon Cancer

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 01/20/2014 | 10:30 AM EST

The U.S. surgeon general releases new report that adds more health problems caused by smoking

U.S. Surgeon General Borish Lushniak released a 980-page report with new health risks linked to smoking tobacco.

Lushniak urged that the country has to take more action in curtailing tobacco smoking, during a White House ceremony on the 50th anniversary of the landmark 1964 surgeon general’s report that launched the anti-smoking movement, which drove the amount of American adults who smoke down from 46 percent to 18 percent today. He added that one in 13 children could see their lives shortened by smoking unless the nation takes more aggressive action to end the tobacco epidemic.

“The clock is ticking,” Lushniak said. “We can't wait another 50 years.”

“We're still finding out new ways that tobacco maims and kills people," added Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Tobacco is even worse than we knew it was.”

Nearly half a million people will die from smoking-related diseases this year. Each day, more than 3,200 youths smoke their first cigarette. While lung cancer and heart disease have long been known causes of smoking cigarettes, new research reveals that Americans who smoke are also at risk for other Type 2 diseases like diabetes and colon cancer, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction and the macular degeneration, which can blind older adults.

In addition to potentially damaging the health of Americans, smoking is costing the nation nearly $300 billion in medical bills, lost productivity and other costs, officials said.

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