Smoking deaths continue to mount, outpace opioids - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Smoking deaths continue to mount, outpace opioids

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According to the CDC smoking kills nearly half-a-million people in the U.S. each year. According to the CDC smoking kills nearly half-a-million people in the U.S. each year.

Tri-State health officials warn that cigarette smoking remains one of the biggest killers in our area. 

Doctors at Quincy Medical Group said smoking kills far more people than opioid overdoses, and Centers for Disease Control statistics back that up.

The CDC says cigarettes kill nearly half-a-million people in the United States each year and more than 50-thousand Illinoisans die from smoking every year. That's 15 times the death toll connected with the opioid crisis.

"With awareness, we've seen a drop in number of smokers," Dr. Adam Reyburn with QMG said. "However, it's still a major problem in the United States. Again, the most common cause of death in the United States is heart disease and that is a disease that is almost 100 percent related to tobacco use."

Reyburn said smoking is linked to a number of other diseases, including lung cancer and emphysema. Reyburn added that smoking is a problem at any age.

Triena Larsen with the Adams County Health Department said the percentage of non-smokers among youth is declining.

"Our percentages are decreasing," Larsen said. "That means that kids are using cigarettes or e-cigarettes more than what they were in the last two years."

Larsen said the health department helps with tobacco education within the community and in the schools.

She said the health department uses the Illinois Tobacco Quitline to help smokers overcome their addictions and that number is 1-866-QUIT-YES. 

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