"Tobacco use results in more than 400,000 deaths each year, or one in every five deaths..." Targeting Tobacco Use. The Nation's Leading Cause of Death. CDC At a Glance 2002. [http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/overview/oshaag.htm]
May 22, 1998/Vol. 47/No. "World No-Tobacco Day May 31, 1998. Tobacco use is one of the most important determinants of human health trends worldwide (1a). The annual rate of 4 million deaths attributed to tobacco use will reach approximately 8.4 million by 2020." Research for International Tobacco Control and the World Health Organization: "In 1998, some 7.5% of the world's 53.9 million deaths were attributable to tobacco use. By 2030, if present smoking patterns continue, that number will rise to 10 million deaths annually - roughly equal to the current combined mortality from diarrhoeal diseases, malaria, pneumonia and tuberculosis." WHO 1999. [http://www5.who.int/tobacco/page.cfm?pid=53]
(1a) Peto R, Lopez A, Boreham J, Thun M, Heath C Jr. Mortality from smoking in developed countries, 1950-2000: indirect estimates from national vital statistics. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1994. [http://www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/mmwr.html]
ALCOHOL DEPENDENCE: DIAGNOSIS, CLINICAL ASPECTS, AND BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL CAUSES By Joseph R. Volpicelli, M.D., Ph.D."Alcohol-related deaths account for about five percent of all deaths in the U.S.--this ranks alcohol-related death between the 3rd (cerebrovascular diseases) and 4th (injuries) major causes of death (Stinson, 1992)..." [http://www.med.upenn.edu/recovery/pros/dependence.html]
(Number of Deaths Annually: 2,404,598 (2000) Source: National Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 49, No. 12 October 9th, 2001. [http://www.cdc.gov/nchswww/fastats/deaths.htm] Deaths: Preliminary Data For 2000.)
Scientific American December 1996, Deaths Due to Alcohol, "Excessive alcohol consumption causes more than 100,000 deaths annually in the United States, and although the number shows little sign of declining, the rate per 100,000 population has trended down since the early 1980s..." [http://www.health.org/pressrel/alcart.htm] NCADI
PRESCRIPTION DRUG DEATHS
Drug-Related Morbidity and Mortality: A Cost-of-Illness Model, Jeffrey A. Johnson, MSc, J. Lyle Bootman, PhD (Arch Intern Med. 1995;155:1942-1948) [http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/sci-news/1995/snr1004.htm#oi40876] Archives of Internal Medicine Abstracts - Oct. 9, 1995 (c) AMA 1995
Adverse Drug Reactions May Cause Over 100,000 Deaths Among Hospitalized Patients Each Year (JAMA. 1998;279:1200-1205) [http://www.ama-assn.org/sci-pubs/sci-news/1998/snr0415.htm] Science News Update Apr 15, 1998.
Also see: [http://www.aetna.com/public_policy_issues/patientsafety.htm] "Adverse reactions to prescription drugs are a major cause of death in the U.S. An estimated 106,000 hospital patients die each year from adverse reactions, making adverse drug reactions the fourth most frequent cause of death. (Money 12/98; study from JAMA 4/98)" Where it was also pointed out: "An Institute of Medicine report in 1999 estimated that 1 million or more hospital patients each year are injured from medical errors and that nearly 100,000 die as a result of medical mistakes. A 2001 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association estimated that between 5,000 and 15,000 deaths annually are due to medical mistakes in hospitals."
Illegal Drug Use (All figures are for U.S.) There Were 19,102 Deaths From Drug-Induced Causes in 1999 (legal and illegal drugs) Source: [http://www.cdc.gov/nchswww/fastats/druguse.htm] Statistical Rolodex - Illegal Drug Use. Monthly Vital Statistics Report, Vol. 49, No. 8. [http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr49/nvsr49_08.pdf] CDC September 21, 2001
"There are no confirmed cases of human deaths from cannabis poisoning in the world medical literature." A "lethal dose in humans could not be very easily achieved by smoking or ingesting the drug." Hall, W., Room, R. & Bondy, S., WHO Project on Health Implications of Cannabis Use: A Comparative Appraisal of the Health and Psychological Consequences of Alcohol, Cannabis, Nicotine and Opiate Use, August 28, 1995, Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization (1998, March). [http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/general/who-index.htm] World Health Organization - Health Implications of Cannabis
See also: [http://www.newscientist.com/hottopics/marijuana/news.jsp] "According to a document leaked to New Scientist, the analysis concludes not only that the amount of dope smoked worldwide does less harm to public health than drink and cigarettes, but that the same is likely to hold true even if people consumed dope on the same scale as these legal substances."
Marijuana use and mortality. Sidney S, Beck JE, Tekawa IS, Quesenberry CP, Friedman GD "Marijuana use in a prepaid health care-based study cohort had little effect on non-AIDS mortality in men and on total mortality in women." Am J Public Health 1997 Apr;87(4):585-590 [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=9146436&dopt=Abstract] Medline.
"Marijuana is unique among illegal drugs in its political symbolism, its safety, and its wide use. More than 65 million Americans have tried marijuana, the use of which is not associated with increased mortality." [http://content.nejm.org/cgi/content/short/337/6/435] (NEJM 1997; 337: 435-439) Legal Issues in Medicine.
Cannabis and Mortality Among Young Men: a longitudinal study of Swedish conscripts. Andreasson S, Allebeck P, "The relative risk of death among high consumers of cannabis (use on more than 50 occasions) was 2.8 (95% confidence interval (1.9-4.1)) compared with non-users. However, after control for social background variables in a multivariate model, no excess mortality was found." (Scand J Soc Med 1990;18(1):9-15) [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=2320981&dopt=Abstract] Medline.