Smoking burns a large hole in the economy. Including direct health care expenditures ($96 billion) and productivity losses ($97 billion), the economic burden of smoking on the United States hit $193 billion per year, the CDC said.
On the plus side, the US smoking rate has dropped below 20%.
New from Google(.org) – Google Flu Trends:
We’ve found that certain search terms are good indicators of flu activity. Google Flu Trends uses aggregated Google search data to estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional systems.
Now there’s an example of data mining we can all feel good about.
Via The New York Times. See also blog.google.org.