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Smoking accounts for health gap (between rich and poor)

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Smoking accounts for health gap (between rich and poor)

Old 07-16-06, 06:50 AM
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Smoking accounts for health gap (between rich and poor)

Interesting study. Incidence of smoking, and related deaths, causes at least half the mortality difference betrween upper and lower social classes, per this study. Elimination of smoking would do more to equalize health between classes than any other action.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/5176822.stm
Smoking accounts for health gap

Widespread smoking cessation could halve the gap

Smoking is to blame for half of the difference in male death rates between men in the top and bottom social classes, say international researchers.
In England, Wales, the US, Canada and Poland, men of lower social class, income or education have a two-fold increased risk of dying earlier.


More than half of this involved differences in smoking-related death risk, they found.

Experts said the Lancet study showed the impact stopping smoking could have.

Health gap

Professor Sir Richard Peto, co-author from the University of Oxford, said: "Widespread cessation of smoking could eventually halve the absolute differences between these social strata in the risk of premature death."

Focusing on smoking cessation might be a quicker and simpler fix than tackling other causes of social inequalities.

Michael Marmot, from the International Institute for Society and Health at University College London, said: "The conclusion might be to forget social conditions, neighbourhood deprivation, employment conditions, early childhood and subsequent adult disease, just focus on getting the smoking rates down in people of low status."

Encouraging people to quit is the number one public health intervention that will help to deal with health inequalities

Ian Wilmore of Action on Smoking and Health

Cancer Research UK's medical director Professor John Toy said: "All men who smoke play Russian roulette with their lives but the odds are heavily stacked against those in lower income groups as they are much more likely to smoke.

"This study, part-funded by Cancer Research UK, shows that social inequality in death rates demands attention, concentrating on ways to help less privileged people to stop smoking."

Sir Richard and colleagues estimated the number of deaths among men aged 35-69 that could be attributed to smoking and those not attributed to smoking in three social bands in four countries using mortality data from 1996.

They found on average a 19% difference between the highest and lowest social strata in the risk of dying in each country and about half of the difference was due to the risk of being killed by smoking.

Ian Wilmore, of Action on Smoking and Health, said: "Smoking is the number one contributor to health inequalities because it accounts for at least half of the difference in life expectancy between the social classes.

"If you are a man in social class E, the poorest social group, your chance of surviving until the age of 70 is about one in two. If you are a man in social class A, the highest group, your chance is about two in three.


"Encouraging people to quit is the number one public health intervention that will help to deal with health inequalities. That is why comprehensive smoke-free legislation is needed."

A spokesman for the British Heart Foundation, said: "We know there are black spots of heart disease in deprived areas, and it's increasingly clear that smoking is a major cause of these variations.

"We're supporting projects to encourage smokers to quit right across the country,

"We will continue to call on the government to offer tailored smoking cessation services to give smokers the best possible chance to quit."
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Old 07-16-06, 08:00 AM
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So you're suggesting rich people take up smoking?
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Old 07-16-06, 08:31 AM
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In NYC, the problem is being addressed by the fact that with cigs at $6+ a pack, only the rich can afford to smoke, thus helping the economically distressed improve their health.
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Old 07-16-06, 08:44 AM
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all the smokers I know, buy their cigs from other states, other countries or Indians. NYC smokers only buy cigs for $6 if they run out of their regular supply.
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Old 07-16-06, 09:12 AM
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This study failed to note that the poor are looked at as being cooler by 70% of high school students thanks to smoking.
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Old 07-16-06, 09:24 AM
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Yes, smoking is so cool it is definitely worth being poor and dying young.

Since I wouldn't be cool even with a cigarette, I get to be old and rich. Mwah-ha-ha-ha. My evil plan was so worth it.
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Old 07-16-06, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDude
Yes, smoking is so cool it is definitely worth being poor and dying young.

Since I wouldn't be cool even with a cigarette, I get to be old and rich. Mwah-ha-ha-ha. My evil plan was so worth it.

That's depends. If you're poor and you don't see much in your future other than being poor and living in a shitty neighborhood is there really any reason to spend a long time on Earth? It's easy to want to live forever when you're rich and your future looks bright......

Last edited by Giantrobo; 07-16-06 at 07:26 PM.
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Old 07-16-06, 11:42 AM
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Do "rich" people really not smoke as much?

How do you find that out? What if they lie on the surveys?
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