Both of these losses of stars who entertained us have smoking in common. At the same time, new research has identified that smoking is responsible for more deaths than we had thought before. This now means that smoking is responsible for 21 percent of all deaths in America, more than we had known before (540,000 deaths from smoking related illnesses out of 2.5 million deaths in the United States annually). The 14 new smoking-related illnesses include kidney failure, breast cancer, prostate cancer, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver, infections, intestinal vascular obstruction, and a variety of lung diseases. Those 21 diseases we had previously known to be associated with smoking were cancers of the lung, head and neck, throat, colon, pancreas, stomach, kidney, bladder and esophagus, as well as leukemia, diabetes, heart attacks, stroke, aneurysm, emphysema, pneumonia and other infections.
So now we must look at ourselves, at our families and among our friends and ask, "Still smoking? Why? Where do we get help in stopping?"