Smoke Less Tobacco




Yet another item of good news that the tobacco farmers, coal magnates, auto barons and oil sheiks — as well as all of their loyal political minions -- don’t want you to catch wind of: In January, the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the reduction of smoking and the implementation of actual controls on fine particulate matter are chiefly the reasons why Americans have added at least an average of three years to their lives since just the ’80s. Just wait for the nanotechnology to come online.

The biggest thank-you for the spike goes to people smoking less these days, which is partly to thank for how cigarette taxes fund just about every public project. But by using pollution, public health and demo data from 51 big American regions, researchers at Brigham Young University were able to show how life expectancy rose steadily by 31 weeks as air pollution was reduced by public policy about 10 micrograms per cubic meter. Cleveland and Akron were among the cities in the study, .

The study’s conclusion : “A reduction in exposure to ambient fine-particulate air pollution contributed to significant and measurable improvements in life expectancy in the United States.” How do they know? “On average, life expectancy increased more in areas with larger reductions in air pollution.”

Huh. Whodathunkit? Not W.

Reference the Boy King George and how he kept similar findings from his own health officials under wraps until he couldn’t hide them any longer. Here’s hoping our new left-wing can steer this ship to even greener pastures, while, yes, preserving old industrial jobs that still bleed from the state like so many votes. Right, Sherrod? —Dan Harkins

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