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Report: Smoking in Oklahoma leads to $1 billion in medical expenses

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its annual Tobacco Control State Highlights report on Friday.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: January 26, 2013

The Oklahoma Board of Health has made an anti-smoking bill its No. 1 priority this legislative session.

If passed, Senate Bill 36 would allow cities in Oklahoma to pass their own laws regarding smoking in public places.

Oklahoma law currently bans cities from passing laws stricter than state law.

Tobacco use continues to be the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, according to the CDC.

Each year, about 443,000 people die from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million suffer from a serious smoking-related illness, according to the CDC's latest report.

Costs associated with smoking-related illness amount to about $96 billion in medical expenses, $97 billion in lost productivity, and 5.1 million years of potential life lost in the United States annually, according to the CDC.

Mullens said Oklahoma has more former smokers than current smokers, a shift in the state's makeup over the past several years.

“But we do understand it's very difficult for a person to quit, and it might take a person more than one try,” she said.

by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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To get help

Jennifer Mullens said Oklahoma residents wanting to quit smoking can call (800) 784-8669 for information on available resources.

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