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U.S. Smoking-Related Diseases Cost $96 Billion

ATLANTA (UPI) — More than 400,000 unique visitors have visited the U.S. government’s Web site designed to help people quit smoking, health officials said.

Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said about 8.6 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease and each day, and smoking-related diseases cost Americans $96 billion a year in direct healthcare expenses — a substantial portion of which come from taxpayer-supported payments.

Frieden said since the government’s anti-smoking campaign began March 19 and ended June 10, the numbers indicate the quitlines are on track to surpass the goal of generating at least 500,000 quit attempts.

“These initial results suggest that the campaign will help even more people quit than we had hoped, exceeding our already high expectations,” Frieden said in a statement. “More than two-thirds of all smokers want to quit. People who smoke die sooner and live sicker. This campaign is saving lives and saving money.”

The campaign featured a diverse set of ads profiling people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases showing how smoking-related diseases change the way these former smokers eat, dress and perform many other daily tasks many take for granted.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable U.S. death and disease killing more than 1,200 Americans every day, Frieden said.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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