Background Tobacco is the leading cause of death in the United States. The majority of people who smoke begin before age 18. Objective Determine the number of smoking-attributable deaths and years of potential life lost (YPLL) in adults that might be saved through interventions to reduce smoking prevalence among children and adolescents. Methods Calculation of the smoking-attributable mortality and years of potential life lost by age 85 among the cohort of people aged 18 in 2000. Results By age 85, there would be 127,670 smoking-attributable deaths among women and 284,502 deaths among men, for a total 412,172 smoking-attributable deaths in the United States among the cohort of 3,964,704 people aged 18 years alive in 2000. Through large-scale multimedia campaigns and a $1 increase in the price per pack of cigarettes, smoking prevalence could be reduced by 26% and would result in an annual savings of 108,466 lives and 1.6 million YPLL. Conclusions Interventions to decrease smoking prevalence among children and adolescents can have large effects on adult mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health