Smoking The Cause Of Low U.S. Life Expectancy

smokingWhy does the U.S. spend more on health care than any other nation while its population has a life expectancy lower than in many other developed countries? According to a new government report: smoking. From WebMD:

Life expectancies in the U.S. are now lower than for many other industrialized countries, and the nation’s past love affair with tobacco is largely to blame, government officials say.

In a report released Tuesday, a panel commissioned by the National Research Council sought to explain why the U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation, yet Americans are dying younger than some of their counterparts in other high-income countries.

Over the past two and a half decades, life expectancies continued to rise in the U.S., but at a slower pace than those seen in Australia, Canada, Japan, Great Britain, and other high-income European countries.

The average live expectancy for men in the U.S. was 75.6 years in 2007, compared to around 79 years among men in living in Australia, Japan, and Sweden and between 77 and 78 years among men living in the Canada, Italy, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and France.

The life expectancy for women in the U.S. is 80.8 years, which is lower than for any other high-income country included in the analysis except Denmark (80.5 years).

Americans now smoke less than the populations of many other industrialized, high-income countries, but this was not the case in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, panel co-chair Samuel H. Preston, PhD, tells WebMD…

[continues at WebMD]

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  • E.B. Wolf

    I call bullshit. The link gives smoking rates for the U.S., but leaves out the smoking rates of other countries to back up its claims that their percentages were lower.

  • E.B. Wolf

    I call bullshit. The link gives smoking rates for the U.S., but leaves out the smoking rates of other countries to back up its claims that their percentages were lower.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m with the Wolf…this reeks of WebMD conventional wisdom BS…carefully avoiding the higher life expectancies in countries where cigarettes are even more accessible than here. We’re caught in a Devil’s Triangle of bad, chemical laden food, industrial waste, abominable health care value per dollar spent compared to other developed countries and a whole slew of lesser issues. Throw them all together and only a miracle would improve our lot…not a mere cessation of smoking as pushed by insurance lobbies (who, if their ideals were extended to every potential risk factor, would strip us of the right to even leave the house without padded suits to make sure we don’t claim injuries from minor falls.)

    • Andrew

      Don’t exclude smoking as a cause, either. Throw it into that triangle and make it a Devil’s Square.

      Hell, throw stressful working environments in and make it a Devil’s Pentagon.

    • Belcat

      VoxMagi, you’re missing the two worse culprits. Lack of exercise, bad fast food diet causing obesity. As well, there is probably stress caused by lack of vacation days, poor employee benefits and low minimum wages (heart attacks aren’t just from bad nutrition).
      Food is so bad, some kids were being diagnosed with scurvy. The few chemicals – well, our body can handle that better than bad bad nutrition and low exercise causing basically disrepair in the whole body.
      Definately in some locations pullution is a concern too.

      • Ironaddict06

        Yea, it is the whole combination of smoking, lack of exercise, fast food, chemicals in food, etc. that kills Americans.

        • BAMMMMMM

          kills anyone , just sayinn

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    I’m with the Wolf…this reeks of WebMD conventional wisdom BS…carefully avoiding the higher life expectancies in countries where cigarettes are even more accessible than here. We’re caught in a Devil’s Triangle of bad, chemical laden food, industrial waste, abominable health care value per dollar spent compared to other developed countries and a whole slew of lesser issues. Throw them all together and only a miracle would improve our lot…not a mere cessation of smoking as pushed by insurance lobbies (who, if their ideals were extended to every potential risk factor, would strip us of the right to even leave the house without padded suits to make sure we don’t claim injuries from minor falls.)

  • mrtastycakes

    Yup, this is indeed the definition of disinformation. Greece has one of the highest percentages of smoking in the world, about half the population. Their lung cancer death rate is about half of what it is in the US. The pattern is the same for almost every other heavy smoking country in the world (the US is rather far down the list). Clearly, there’s some sort of confounding variable here.

    In fact, wait a minute–this article doesn’t even address smoking-related deaths, just life expectancy. What?!

    • Rex Vestri

      Greeks are probably not as iodine deficient as most of the US population is. I firmly believe this has a big effect on cancer rates.

      • mrtastycakes

        It’s really a mystery and blaming smoking for our health problems isn’t the whole story. Smoking-related death rates are lower in Europe, where smoking rates are higher and many (most?) do not use filters. For China, where over 60% of the population smokes, they still have a lower rate of lung cancer related deaths than the US–and that’s even with their industrial pollution. This has been studied a few times. One study that I can’t find right now on PubMed showed that it was related to green tea consumption: the more cups/day of tea the smoker consumed the less likely he was to get lung cancer or emphysema. I did find these:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19487113
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9591195

  • mrtastycakes

    Yup, this is indeed the definition of disinformation. Greece has one of the highest percentages of smoking in the world, about half the population. Their lung cancer death rate is about half of what it is in the US. The pattern is the same for almost every other heavy smoking country in the world (the US is rather far down the list). Clearly, there’s some sort of confounding variable here.

    In fact, wait a minute–this article doesn’t even address smoking-related deaths, just life expectancy. What?!

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Smoking The Cause Of Low U.S. Life Expectancy | Disinformation -- Topsy.com()

  • Andrew

    Don’t exclude smoking as a cause, either. Throw it into that triangle and make it a Devil’s Square.

    Hell, throw stressful working environments in and make it a Devil’s Pentagon.

  • Anonymous

    Greeks are probably not as iodine deficient as most of the US population is. I firmly believe this has a big effect on cancer rates.

  • WhiteRose

    Why does everyone feel the need to live until 100? All these pills and procedures etc have put such a strain on the economy there is no hope for the kiddies. Everything is bad for you it seems but that is why it is so fun, have a drink have a smoke do it responsibly and go out with a smile on your face not a scream!

  • WhiteRose

    Why does everyone feel the need to live until 100? All these pills and procedures etc have put such a strain on the economy there is no hope for the kiddies. Everything is bad for you it seems but that is why it is so fun, have a drink have a smoke do it responsibly and go out with a smile on your face not a scream!

  • Belcat

    VoxMagi, you’re missing the two worse culprits. Lack of exercise, bad fast food diet causing obesity. As well, there is probably stress caused by lack of vacation days, poor employee benefits and low minimum wages (heart attacks aren’t just from bad nutrition).
    Food is so bad, some kids were being diagnosed with scurvy. The few chemicals – well, our body can handle that better than bad bad nutrition and low exercise causing basically disrepair in the whole body.
    Definately in some locations pullution is a concern too.

  • Hadrian999

    I’m not sure that is a bad thing, have you seen what the years at the end are like, why would you want more of them, I’d rather die while life is still fun and i don’t need help to take a crap and beautiful woman aren’t a distant memory.

    • E.B. Wolf

      I’ll drink to that.

  • Hadrian999

    I’m not sure that is a bad thing, have you seen what the years at the end are like, why would you want more of them, I’d rather die while life is still fun and i don’t need help to take a crap and beautiful woman aren’t a distant memory.

  • mrtastycakes

    It’s really a mystery and blaming smoking for our health problems isn’t the whole story. Smoking-related death rates are lower in Europe, where smoking rates are higher and many (most?) do not use filters. For China, where over 60% of the population smokes, they still have a lower rate of lung cancer related deaths than the US–and that’s even with their industrial pollution. This has been studied a few times. One study that I can’t find right now on PubMed showed that it was related to green tea consumption: the more cups/day of tea the smoker consumed the less likely he was to get lung cancer or emphysema. I did find these:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19487113
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9591195

  • E.B. Wolf

    I’ll drink to that.

  • Anonymous

    bullSHIT, no one even SMOKES here, making me feel like an outcast wherever i go… but yeah, let’s not blame it on the water or shitty food quality. it’s all about tobacco.

  • http://www.jayurbzz.com jayurbzz

    bullSHIT, no one even SMOKES here, making me feel like an outcast wherever i go… but yeah, let’s not blame it on the water or shitty food quality. it’s all about tobacco.

    • Ellagood1970

      Its also lack of exersize and eating junk food, but bottom line, smoking is bad for you. Even the most conservative statistics say it causes cancer, respiratory disease etc etc. And if you feel like an outcast its because you stink like high hell. All smokers do. And given what we know about smoking, if you are smoking in public to any half intelligent person, you look like a complete tool.

  • David Frost

    I think here in America we have “Rush Limbaughism,” we fill our tubby faces with too many big macs and steaks, pollute the air we breath with giant gas guzzling SUV’s, cook our food with tons of radiation from the microwave, drink water with diluted pharmaceuticals in it, live with waste producing factories next door, smoke our tobacco, and down some liquor with our pills.

    Why? Because that is how capitalistic society makes improvements in the economy…by telling everyone that they need to consume more and that if you buy enough crap you will somehow live with eternal bliss. What your really looking at as a nation of addicts, but with the majority of addiction being to money rather than crack. Either way the negative effects on health are there.

  • David Frost

    I think here in America we have “Rush Limbaughism,” we fill our tubby faces with too many big macs and steaks, pollute the air we breath with giant gas guzzling SUV’s, cook our food with tons of radiation from the microwave, drink water with diluted pharmaceuticals in it, live with waste producing factories next door, smoke our tobacco, and down some liquor with our pills.

    Why? Because that is how capitalistic society makes improvements in the economy…by telling everyone that they need to consume more and that if you buy enough crap you will somehow live with eternal bliss. What your really looking at as a nation of addicts, but with the majority of addiction being to money rather than crack. Either way the negative effects on health are there.

    • David Frost

      But the main reason is that health care doesn’t focus much on preventative care as much in the USA as other countries, that and the insurance companies gotta find ways to make a dollar.

      I guess what I’m saying is that in America health is a giant mess of issues

  • David Frost

    But the main reason is that health care doesn’t focus much on preventative care as much in the USA as other countries, that and the insurance companies gotta find ways to make a dollar.

    I guess what I’m saying is that in America health is a giant mess of issues

  • Ironaddict06

    Yea, it is the whole combination of smoking, lack of exercise, fast food, chemicals in food, etc. that kills Americans.

  • xx//.//xx

    wow.thats so stupid. idc what anyone says thats so dumb.

  • xx//.//xx

    wow.thats so stupid. idc what anyone says thats so dumb.

  • BAMMMMMM

    kills anyone , just sayinn

  • Ellagood1970

    Its also lack of exersize and eating junk food, but bottom line, smoking is bad for you. Even the most conservative statistics say it causes cancer, respiratory disease etc etc. And if you feel like an outcast its because you stink like high hell. All smokers do. And given what we know about smoking, if you are smoking in public to any half intelligent person, you look like a complete tool.

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