Study: Tobacco Kills Two Out Of Three Smokers

cigaretteThere is an interesting and chilling new study out on smoking. It is well understood that smoking is a leading cause of death. However, the leading study on the morality rate is derived from a 1956 study called the “British Doctors Study” that found a roughly fifty percent mortality rate. A new study however by BMC Medicine has found that the rate is more like 66 percent or two out of three smokers will die as a result of smoking related illness.

The study is huge in size following 204,953 men and women over 45 years old from New South Wales, Australia. The work by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University found a much higher rate of morality than previously thought. The study also found that smokers tended to come from less educated and less affluent populations, a fact previously found in other studies.

Despite the findings, I remain convinced that such risks should be left to individuals to measure. However, the study reaffirms the dangers of this product. Indeed, it may be unique. Is there any other product that can be sold that is both so addictive and so ultimately lethal?

96 thoughts on “Study: Tobacco Kills Two Out Of Three Smokers”

  1. We on Planet Remulak have been observing Planet Earth for hundreds of years. Once in a while we try to help. We introduced the smoking suicide thing so as to cure your behavior problem whereby humans wont take care of other humans when they get too old. So this was a population control thing. Kind of like “one child per household” in China.

  2. Happy, If someone has an addictive personality, indeed anything can be addictive. But, there are some things more addictive by nature of the way it effects the brain. In gambling, research shows video poker to be among the most addictive. Opiates are high on the lists of mind altering substances. Nicotine is up there as well.

  3. issac – “Any argument taken to extremes looks foolish. My argument ticks you off ideologically. Reign in the ideology. If the product causes the problems then make the product pay for them. These eccentric arguments that smokers cost less than non smokers because they die earlier make sense when you cherry pick one aspect. Smokers impact everyone financially through health costs. Crap impacts everyone though health costs. Keeping tobacco, alcohol, and garbage food cheap is simply stupid. The solution is to take funds from taxes on bad stuff and subsidize good stuff. Or, is that too Orwellian for you?”

    Yes, it is too Orwellian for me. It’s very weird to me that you feel isaac should get to decide how people live. My feeling is that it will only feel “extreme” when you personally start getting punished for wanting to live your life the way you want to.

    “By the way most of out peer nations are less obese and healthier. They tax the crap out of crap and subsidize healthy activities and food. Yeah, but they’re not American are they.”

    No, they are not. and thank God we are not them.
    As Karen has stated, these tax programs are a joke. Why you have faith in the govt. using money for its intended purpose with example after example of them not doing so, is beyond me.

    What’s your feeling on big Ag vs. local farming? I think local produce should be taxed the hell out of it since it is the most inefficient why to make food. This hurts society and should be stopped asap!

  4. Anything can be addictive if it is not used in moderation including tobacco

  5. Karen

    My opposition to the private for profit health care insurance system is based primarily on statistics that illustrate that the several hundred thousand redundant insurance workers are factored into our premiums. We subsidize the industry, not to mention shareholders gains, CEO lifestyles, etc. Creating a single payer universal insurance system need not affect the health care industry, although there are many areas that need attention there. Incentives are great and there is no reason that can’t be a part of any insurance system, like good driver discounts.

    Regarding drawing the line, when it can be established that certain products are harmful to a consumer’s health and also cost even those that do not consume them, there should be a tax levied to offset the expense. If you drive a Humvee you pay more in gas. It is the responsibility of the government to regulate emissions controls. The private sector has proven to the detriment of the US auto industry that it won’t unless forced. There are areas that improve due to private enterprise and competition and there are areas that need government ‘guidance’. Graphic illustration and education concerning the harm done by tobacco should not only be attached to tobacco products but paid for by the tobacco consumer. If you take a quick peak at society you will find that it cannot be all one way or all the other. Some things demand control and some things have to be left to the individual.

  6. I thank JT for his interest in keeping us all safer.
    But the citation is meaningless, as in totally useless. “The study is huge in size following 204,953 men and women over 45 years old from New South Wales, Australia. The work by the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health at the Australian National University found a much higher rate of morality than previously thought.”
    There are NO data. Obviously if you follow 200,000 people over 45 long enough, they will die in increasing numbers. That the heck does “a much higher rate of mortality than previously thought” even mean? Thought by whom? A thought is not a datum.
    Were the 200,000 half smokers, half not, and were they matched or not (i.e., were the smokers less healthy or as healthy than the nonsmokers when the study began?)
    If you are to reference a paper, JT, please abstract enough info so you don’t sound like a 26 year-old journalist.

  7. In a “The Rock from the Sun” episode in the 1990s, Dick ( John Lithgow) takes up the human vice of smoking. He is dismissive of all of his friends’ advice that this is a very bad habit.
    When he’s warned that they could easily take ten years off of his life, he scoffs ” But those come off the END of your life, and those years are crappy anyway!”

  8. In my opinion, the Blade Runner trial was another act of a man killing his girlfriend in a rage when she wanted to leave him. I think the judge was swayed by his hysterical tears.

  9. And wasn’t that sherif investigated from murdering his wife? I think it was one of PT’s blog posts.

  10. And there is mounting evidence that smart phones are addictive and that being without them causes anxiety. 🙂

  11. Max – as for that story about the lady who was carrying her gun in her purse – there are unfortunately many stories about negligent parents. There are the stories about kids being used as mules to bring drugs into prison. Parents who don’t realize they need to tie up the cords on their blinds. Or forget about the rat poison. Or don’t realize their old house has lead paint, which tastes like candy.

    I am pro 2nd amendment, but what kind of maniac lets her toddler play with her purse when she’s carrying?

    You don’t outlaw cars because someone gets hurt from negligent driving!

    And here is an interesting aspect of gun control. Some people buy “assault rifles” who had no interest in them before simply because they were set to be outlawed. Taking the right to something away makes people think they should buy it now “just in case” they want it later.

  12. Max:

    Drug overdose was the leading cause of injury death in 2012. Drug overdose deaths doubled from 1999 to 2013. About half of drug overdose deaths were caused by pharmaceuticals, and of those, bout 3/4 were from opiods.

    I’m sorry to hear about your mom, but glad she won that battle. Many people get caught in that prescription drug trap.

    It is a preventable tragedy if a child gets his or her hands on a gun, household chemicals, knives, chocking hazards, or drowns in a bucket of water or a pool. That kind of loss destroys a family.

    Owning a firearm is a serious responsibility, as is owning a car. It is a dangerous tool, but that’s what it is – a tool.

  13. Our very smart and eloquent prez can’t seem to quit. Self discipline and commitment are not intellectual.

  14. SBQ
    Guns are not addictive.
    = = =
    Ha! Ever hear about the amosexual who just can’t go shopping without her gun she stuffed it in her purse? Yep, and her three year old discovered it in store and pulled the trigger?

    Ha! Ever hear about the amosexual sheriff that just can’t sleep without his service pistol he shoots his wife in the middle of the night?

    Like potato chips, most amosexuals can’t have just one…

  15. My grandfather died from complications due to years of heavy smoking. In short, emphysema. My mother died from complications from heavy smoking. In short, cardiovascular and pulmonary heart disease. I smoked from the ages of 14-41. Peter Jennings’ death clinched the deal for me and so I quit the following month.

  16. @ Max

    I don’t think that word…..addictive….means what you think it means. Guns are not addictive. You don’t have withdrawals if you don’t use your gun daily. JT also had a word in his sentence that you ignored. AND. addictive AND lethal. Are guns lethal. Well. Yes. That is the point. Addictive …no.

    I do rather agree with the internet/texting as being somewhat addictive, but as deadly as cigarettes, heroin, meth…..not really.

    I would entirely agree with alcohol as being both addictive (for some people) and lethal when consumed in the massive amounts that those who are alcoholics consume. Not consuming once you are addicted has dire consequences. DTs . There are also other long term lethal side effects. Just as in smoking tobacco.

    I might add that Marijuana is an addictive and lethal substance which is now being legalized. Perhaps we should proceed a bit slower there.
    Cigarettes are addictive and lethal. Not everyone becomes addicted, just as not everyone who has drinks becomes an alcoholic.

    Now you are going to argue that guns are addictive because there are people who …blah blah blah. I will concede that there are addictive personalities who like Karen’s bunnies are addicted to humping fuzzy slippers. So? A few instances do not make the rule.

    Addiction on the level of nicotine, meth, Oxycontin, alcohol is a completely different animal.

  17. Karen S.
    Yes, prescription drugs are bad. My mother was addicted to painkillers back in the ’70’s. Every time she was coming down or off of them she’d throw, what I now term, remodeling fits. After all, when mom pulls the curtains off the wall and rips them, she get’s new curtains. When she broke bathroom wall mirrors, she got a new remodeled bathroom. etc. This stage of her life lasted about 5-7 years, the last few were the toughest. She eventually won over her addiction.

  18. Karen S.
    Sorry to labor this, JT asked for what products are, “both so addictive and so ultimately lethal?”

    To me, the ultimately lethal aspect is the clincher. Here’s why:
    With a ten year cancer prognosis, you can still plan for a future.
    When a three year old finds mommy’s gun in her purse and pulls the trigger, what plans are made for that future?

    I’d include other activities like texting and driving but JT asked for ‘products’ that are addictive. I have to laugh when I see people staring down at their phones while walking down a busy city street. I saw someone walk right into a light pole. Now that was a real LOL moment. I often pass people by and say, “Heads up!” That scares them because they usually never see me coming. In fact, one time someone got mad at me for saying that. My response was imple, “You’d rather run into a light pole?” Their response of no, a pause of understanding and then perplexity of knowing I’m correct yet publicly shaming them was all they needed to bluster a rebuff answer… I cut them off with, “OK, but when you run into that pole, you’re gonna wish I was there.” And then went on my way… I suspect it wasn’t a pole they eventually will run into but seeing how desensitized society has become about how our actions have effects upon other people and the “we just don’t care” attitude I said pole in hopes they’ll realize it’s them I’m concerned about and not some poor soul that they’ll eventually run over, instead.

  19. I would say that addictive prescription drugs are the most insidious. Often, they are prescribed by a doctor for a legitimate medical condition. Gradually, they become addicted and begin to abuse the drug. I have the utmost sympathy for those who didn’t go out on the street and seek out illegal drugs. They trusted their doctor and got hooked. They are surprised to discover themselves in the throes of addiction. Withdrawing from some opioids actually causes nerve pain, so they believe that they need the medicine because they are in pain when they go off, or stop upping their dose. They don’t realize that they’ve reached the point where it’s withdrawal that is causing their pain.

  20. Rattlesnake is very tasty too, Karen. Waste not want not 🙂

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