More than 5 million children remain at risk of dying prematurely unless more is done to further reduce tobacco use in the U.S., health officials said Jan. 17.
Tobacco remains a problem among those under age 18 despite declines in youth smoking that saw the rate fall from its peak of 25% in 1997 to 10% by 2011, the U.S. Surgeon General's 50th annual report on smoking found.
Federal health officials estimate that 3,200 children a day try their first cigarette and another 2,100 become daily smokers.
The latest report also identified new health risks related to tobacco use, including diabetes, erectile dysfunction, ectopic pregnancy, tuberculosis and rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration, liver and colorectal cancers, and impaired immune function.
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