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Smoking Rate In The US Is At An All-Time Low: CDC

Jun 20, 2018 01:34 AM EDT
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Fewer and fewer people in the United States are lighting up cigarettes as CDC data reported a significant drop in smoking rates in 2017.

The percentage of current smokers hits an all-time low in 2017, as many seemed to have kicked the habit that's the leading cause of preventable deaths in the country.

Smoking Rates Decrease Among Adults In United States

New estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics reveal that only 13.9 percent of adults aged 18 and above reporting to be current cigarette smokers in 2017.

In 2016, the estimated percentage of smokers was 15.8 percent, a slight increase from 2015 when it hit 15.1 percent. Back in 2006, the percentage was 20.8 percent, then declined to 18 percent in 2012.

Over the past decade, the numbers have gone down slowly yet surely, apart from a few years. In the 1960s, about 42 percent of adults in the United States smoked.

Decline Present In The Youth

The drop in smoking rates is also consistent in the younger generation, as newly released data suggests.

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration used data from the 2011 to 2017 National Youth Tobacco Surveys, finding that current use of any tobacco product dropped in high school students from 24.2 percent in 2011 to 19.6 percent in 2017. Among middle school students, it dropped from 7.5 percent to 5.6 percent.

Tobacco products included in the survey include cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookah, pipe tobacco, and bidis.

Use of these products in youth is an important statistic to track, considering nearly all instances of tobacco use begin during these earlier years.

According to the CDC, some of the strategies they recommend to implement to reduce youth tobacco product use include increasing the price of tobacco products, implementing comprehensive smoke-free policies, implementing advertising and promotion restrictions and national public education media campaigns, and raising the minimum age of purchase for tobacco products to 21 years.

The Downside Of Smoking 

Smoking is reportedly the leading cause of preventable death in the United States with over 16 million Americans afflicted with a disease caused by smoking.

Some of the diseases associated with smoking include cancer, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. It's also been found to increase the risk for tuberculosis, eye diseases, and immune system problems such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Another sobering reality is the danger of secondhand smoke, which causes approximately 41,000 deaths in non-smoking adults and 400 deaths in infants every year.

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