The Problem: Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, remains a major public health problem. Fifty-nine percent of persons aged 12 to 19 suffer from tooth decay. CDC Dental Caries Fact Sheet. Advanced tooth decay can cause significant pain and loss of the teeth, and can be costly to treat. CDC: Oral Health: At a Glance: 2009.
The Problem: As of 1995, bicycle crashes caused approximately 1,000 deaths and 550,000 emergency room visits per year. The majority of these injuries involve some form of head trauma. CDC. Injury-Control Recommendations: Bicycle Helmets. MMWR. 1995;44(RR-1):1-18.
The Problem: The operation of motor vehicles while intoxicated is a major public health problem. Each year in the United States roughly 13,400 people die and an additional 255,500 are injured in motor vehicle crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. These crashes account for 32 percent of all U.S. traffic-related deaths and cost roughly $51 billion a year. CDC: Impaired Driving Factsheet.
The Problem: Tobacco use is a source of chronic and fatal illnesses for users and persons with secondary exposure. In the United States, cigarette smoking contributes to one in five deaths and costs more than $193 billion in annual lost productivity and healthcare expenditures. CDC: Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Years of Potential Life Lost, and Productivity Losses—United States, 2000–2004.
The Problem: Firearms are the second leading cause of injury and deaths in the United States accounting for 30,896 deaths and 71,417 injuries in 2006. Over 80 percent of teen homicides and almost half of teen suicides involved a gun in 2005. CDC: WISQUARS. Overall, more than half of all homicides involve a gun. US Department of Justice: Crime Statistics.