CDC chief: Tobacco use top killer in Okla., nation

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in Oklahoma and the nation.

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said Thursday in Oklahoma City that there has been a 4 percent decrease in the number of smokers in the U.S. since 2009. He said the adoption of smoke-free laws and anti-smoking advertising campaigns have contributed to the decline.

The state Department of Health says tobacco use causes the premature death of about 5,800 Oklahomans each year.

State rankings released in December by the United Health Foundation listed Oklahoma 43rd in the nation in the wellness of its citizens. Officials say the rankings are affected by smoking, obesity and sedentary lifestyles that result in thousands of premature deaths every year.

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