U.S. Smoking Rates Drop to 20 %

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said America has seen a decline in the number of current smokers to below 20 %. 43.3 million, or just under one-fifth of the population smoked in 2007 while in 2006 the figure stood at 20.8 %.

Smoking girl

Smoking girl

As a part of the Healthy People 2010 project America had set a goal of bringing adult smoking down to 12 % and although that goal still remains a distant dream there has been a slight decline in the smoking rates.

Dr. Matthew McKenna, the director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “If we want to see far more people quit smoking, we need expanded access to stop-smoking programs, continued progress in eliminating secondhand smoke exposure and ongoing investment in programs that work.” There was a decline though in the number of people trying to give up smoking. In 1993 47 % people tried to give up smoking while in 2007 it dropped to 40 %.
The report also said that those most likely to quit smoking were between the ages of 18-24 as compared to the older smokers.

Whites came in second at 21 %, blacks at 20 %, Hispanics at 13 % and Asian Americans were the lowest at 10 %. McKenna said, “If, starting in 2009, all states were to fully implement tobacco-control programs at CDC-recommended levels of investment, an estimated 5 million fewer people in this country would smoke within five years, and hundreds of thousands of premature tobacco-related deaths would be prevented each year.”

Smoking-related diseases claim nearly 438,000 Americans’ lives each year and it is costs $193 billion a year which includes $97 billion in lost productivity and $96 billion in direct health care expenditures. Dr. McKenna said, “Even though we’ve come a long way, there’s a long way to go.”

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