California study shines light on cost of preventable diseases (CA)
According to a new paper published by the Urban Institute, preventable chronic diseases cost California $362 million in 2008, or 22.4% of the state's overall spending on healthcare for public employees. The report shows that even a 1% reduction in chronic disease could save the state $3.6 million per year, and according to the literature, a 5% to 15% reduction in chronic disease is feasible. The report concludes that targeted interventions, including smoking cessation initiatives, can reduce the burden of chronic disease in California. The Urban Institute is a nonpartisan economic and social policy research center that works to build knowledge about the nation’s social and fiscal challenges. Click here for the report, or click here to read about an initiative that was launched based on the findings to promote wellness among California state employees.
Study: Obesity surpasses smoking in employee healthcare (MN)
Smoking and obesity have been found in a recent study to be associated with excess healthcare costs. A new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine examined the costs of smoking among Mayo Clinic employees and retirees with continuous health insurance coverage between 2001 and 2007. Average health costs for smokers were $1,275 higher than those for nonsmokers, and costs for obesity were even higher. This study provides insight into the long-term healthcare costs that can result from behavioral risk factors. Click here to read the article, and here for the study abstract.
CDC's STATE System website has been updated with legislative data for 1st quarter 2012
Legislative data on smoke-free indoor air, smoke-free campus, and youth access legislation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) are now available through the STATE System, an electronic data warehouse containing up-to-date and historical state-level data on tobacco use prevention and control. Due to modified survey questions within the BRFSS, certain years have been excluded from the STATE System to insure comparability across years. Click here to visit the STATE System website, or consult the BRFSS website for additional details about the recent changes to the survey methodology.
Global ignorance of tobacco's harm to cardiovascular health costing lives
A new report commissioned by the World Heart Federation reveals that a significant gap exists in public awareness about the cardiovascular risks of tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure. The report titled “Cardiovascular harms from tobacco use and secondhand smoke” states that half of all Chinese smokers and one-third of Indian and Vietnamese smokers are not aware that smoking causes heart disease and stroke. Public awareness was even lower about the health effects of secondhand smoke exposure. Respondents in countries with well-developed health systems and tobacco control regulations (i.e. Canada, United States) also reported low public knowledge that secondhand smoke can damage cardiovascular health. Recommended steps to reduce current and future tobacco-related cases of cardiovascular disease include support of tobacco control policies, increase in cessation training and support among health professionals, and implementing programs to ensure that cessation advice, support, and aids are provided systematically. Click here to read the full article, or click here to read the World Heart Federation’s report.
Cigarette smoking will fall just 1.7% by 2030 without action, study claims
According to a new report published in BMJ Tobacco Control, the global smoking prevalence will only decrease by 1.7% by 2030 unless significant action is taken. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommended steps include tobacco use monitoring, protection from secondhand smoke, and cessation assistance, among other measures. If the WHO’s measures were globally adopted, it is estimated that the global smoking rate could drop to under 13% by 2030 compared to 24% in 2010. The authors conclude that adopting the WHO measures would benefit the health of those around the world and decrease the burden of tobacco-related diseases. Click here to read more and click here to read the study abstract.
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