• June 21, 2024

Health spending inefficient

 Health spending inefficient

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has released a report indicating the health of US citizens ranks 43rd globally despite the country’s spending more than any other country per capita on health.

The report, Tobacco in America: Leaving the Vulnerable Behind, is said to highlight the US’s failure to live up to aspirational global goals regarding tobacco use.

‘While national smoking prevalence has been driven down over the past two decades, specific communities like the poor and less educated bear a disproportionate share of the costs of tobacco,’ ASH said in a press note issued through PRNewswire. ‘Partly as a result, the US now ranks 43rd in the world, despite spending more than any other country per capita on health.’

The report, released for World No Tobacco Day, looks at US progress towards implementing measures and reaching global health goals targeting tobacco use.

ASH said that, overall, tobacco remained the number one cause of preventable death in the US, accounting for one in five deaths and costing the country’s economy more than $300 billion per year.

‘Nationally, about 15 percent of US adults smoke, down from nearly 50 percent in the 1960s,’ the press note said. ‘However, progress has been far from uniform. ‘The following demographics smoke at much higher rates:

  • Racial minorities like Native Americans;
  • Marginalized groups like the LGBTQI community;
  • Those who are less educated or living in poverty;
  • Southern & Midwestern states.

“The US will be embarrassed to report on progress made toward these global goals,” said Laurent Huber, executive director of ASH. “Americans are less protected than much poorer countries, despite spending more on health care.”

The full report is at: http://ash.org/tobacco-in-america.