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Surgeon general urges new resolve to end smoking

Created: 01/17/2014 6:52 PM WHEC.com
By: Joangel Concepcion

The Surgeon General released a new report showing it is much worse to smoke cigarettes than health experts thought. The study shows smoking can also cause liver, colon and rectal cancer, as well as diabetes, rheumatoid, arthritis and erectile dysfunction. According to local experts, that’s just naming a few. 

Local experts are calling this an historic day in public health. This evidence links 13 new cancers as a direct cause of smoking and as health experts said this proves the war on smoking is far.

Dr. Scott McIntosh, University of Rochester Medical Center, said, “In 1964, 60% of adult men smoked. Since then it's gone considerably down because of reports like this and more cessation options being available. So whenever there is a huge public awareness of the science behind smoking and quitting, it has a huge impact.”

Right now, 16 percent of adults in Monroe County are smokers. Doctors attribute the habit mostly to poverty and lack of education. They are hoping this new information can help save lives. Just last week that anti-smoking measures have saved roughly eight million lives in the U.S. Local experts predict more lives can be saved if they continue their anti-smoking efforts. The problem is New York State has made significant cuts in funding within the last five years. We are talking more than $40 million. 

Anti-smoking advocates are hoping the report can also make lawmakers think twice.

Cassie Gratton, Smoking and Health Action Coalition, said, “It just shows that 50 years later, we're just battling it and these programs are crucial to continuing that prevention.”

If you are thinking of quitting smoking, there is help out there for smokers. For a website, click here. You can also call 1-866-NYQUITS.

For enrollment for college students to participate in study, click here.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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