The Prevention of Tobacco Use

  • Anthony Biglan
  • Herbert H. Severson
Part of the Issues in Children’s and Families’ Lives book series (IICL, volume 1)


Cigarette smoking is the number one preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Smoking is a firmly established cause of numerous cancers, heart disease, emphysema, and pulmonary diseases. Smoking is the main cause of 87% of deaths from lung cancer, 30% of all cancer deaths, 82% of all deaths from pulmonary disease, and 21% of death from chronic heart disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 1989). For the population, this results in premature mortality that translates into 6 million years of life lost each year (Smoking Related Deaths, 1993). The Office of Technology Assessment put the cost of smoking at $68 billion with $20.8 billion in health care costs and the rest due to lost productivity due to disability or premature death (Smoking Related Deaths, 1993). Indeed, it is the number one preventable cause of disease and death (CDC, 1990). Although most of the health consequences of smoking and smokeless tobacco use occur long after adolescence, most smokers become addicted during adolescence (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 1994) and it is estimated that a third of adolescents who begin smoking will eventually die of a smoking-related illness. For these reasons, the prevention of youthful tobacco use has become a major priority for public health.


Tobacco Control Smokeless Tobacco Adolescent Smoking Mortality Weekly Report Life Skill Training 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2003

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  • Anthony Biglan
  • Herbert H. Severson

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