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In 2000, tobacco use topped the nation's list of "actual" causes of death, defined as modifiable lifestyle and behavior factors that lead to such official causes of death as heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Besides smoking, key lifestyle and behavior factors include poor diet and alcohol consumption.


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"Actual Causes of Death in the United States, 2000," JAMA, A. Mokdad, et al., March 10, 2004.