CDC's April 2002 Report On Smoking: Estimates of Selected Health Consequences of Cigarette Smoking Were Reasonable

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Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Despite a recent decline in the population that smokes, smoking is considered the leading cause of preventable death in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2 million deaths in the 5-year period from 1995 through 1999 were attributable to cigarette smoking. CDC, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is a primary source of information on the health consequences of smoking tobacco. CDC reported its most recent estimates of selected health consequences of cigarette smoking in an April ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. July 17, 2003.

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Description

Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Despite a recent decline in the population that smokes, smoking is considered the leading cause of preventable death in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 2 million deaths in the 5-year period from 1995 through 1999 were attributable to cigarette smoking. CDC, part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), is a primary source of information on the health consequences of smoking tobacco. CDC reported its most recent estimates of selected health consequences of cigarette smoking in an April 2002 issue of its publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. CDC reported that, on average, over 440,000 deaths, 5.6 million years of potential life lost, $82 billion in mortality-related productivity losses, and $76 billion in medical expenditures were attributable to cigarette smoking each year from 1995 through 1999. CDC and others tasked with making such estimates face challenges. They build estimates on a set of assumptions and make choices about the data sources and methods used, each of which may have limitations that must be weighed against its advantages. Policymakers at both the state and federal levels have relied on estimates like these in considering bans on smoking in public places, taxes on cigarettes, litigation to recoup medical expenditures, and other matters concerning tobacco. Thus it is essential that the estimates CDC provides are sound and that their limitations are clear. In recognition of this, Congress asked us to review CDC's April 2002 report and determine whether its estimates of selected health consequences of cigarette smoking were reasonable. Specifically, we examined CDC's estimates of (1) deaths and years of potential life lost and (2) mortality-related productivity losses and medical expenditures attributable to cigarette smoking."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • July 17, 2003

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. CDC's April 2002 Report On Smoking: Estimates of Selected Health Consequences of Cigarette Smoking Were Reasonable, text, July 17, 2003; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc297739/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.