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Opinion Northwest

Join the informed writers of The Times' editorial board in lively discussions at our blog, Opinion Northwest.

Topic: health

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March 24, 2014 at 6:49 AM

Interactive map: Where the uninsured are and life expectancy in King County

The Seattle Times’ Sunday editorial discussed how the Affordable Care Act has the potential to reduce health disparities across Washington state and King County. Below are two interactive maps that use the latest data available to show obvious differences between the northern and southern parts of the county. The map on the left side shows the…

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0 Comments | More in Interactives | Topics: Affordable Care Act, health, Obamacare

January 22, 2014 at 6:03 AM

Still smoking? More illnesses linked to tobacco use

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death in King County and Washington state. As the editorial board argued in this Jan. 13 editorial, smoking rates have declined, but wide health disparities persist between smokers and non-smokers. Here’s a previous Opinion Northwest blog post with charts illustrating the problem.

Smoking prevention and cessation efforts nationwide and in Washington should focus on populations more likely to smoke, including the less-educated, low-income, ethnic minority groups and people suffering from mental illness.

Last Friday, acting U.S. Surgeon General Boris Lushniak unveiled a new list of illnesses caused by smoking and tobacco use. The photos below are from the latest report’s executive summary. (Read this related news story in The Seattle Times.)

Health problems highlighted in red are new associations, including chronic diseases such as macular degeneration, congenital defects and orofacial clefts in babies, tuberculosis, diabetes, ectopic pregnancy, erectile dysfunction in men, rheumatoid arthritis and immunal dysfunction. The surgeon general also added liver and colorectal cancers to the list of consequences.

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Source: The Health Consequences of Smoking — 50 Years of Progress, U.S. Surgeon General

With regard to secondhand smoke, public health officials have added strokes in adults to the list of health consequences:

Source: The Health Consequences of Smoking — 50 Years of Progress, U.S. Surgeon General

Source: The Health Consequences of Smoking — 50 Years of Progress, U.S. Surgeon General

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0 Comments | Topics: health, smoking, tobacco