Sunday, February 1, 2015
Tobacco is the Deadliest Substance in the US
It might surprise you but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data Tobacco is the deadliest substance in the United States followed by Alcohol, opioid-based prescription painkillers, cocaine, and heroin. Both tobacco and alcohol are easily available which makes them deadly, while Heroin-linked deaths though illegal is shooting up topping 8,200 in 2013.
According to CDC tobacco is linked to one in five (5) deaths in the US each year, about 42,000 of the 480,000 deaths are caused by secondhand smoke. Even though data shows that tobacco use has declined over the years because of information campaigns, mandatory warning labels, public and workplace smoking bans, and higher taxes on tobacco products.
Alcohol related deaths which is at over 26,000 deaths in 2011 are mostly caused by liver failure and other health problems. However, if you include deaths due to drunk driving it will shoot up to 88,000 per year.
Excessive drinking also accounts to other problems like alcohol-induced aggression and erratic behavior. 40% of violent crimes are done by people who are in the influence of alcohol, according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. Experts says that to lessen this, alcohol should be regulated and taxed higher to reduce consumption.
Opioid-based prescription painkillers is directly linked to overdose deaths, CDC said that 31% of prescription painkiller-linked overdose deaths in 2011 are due to benzodiazepines, which is an anti-anxiety drug.