Number of Smokers in America Still High

Number of Smokers in America Still High

Number of Smokers in America Still High

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released two reports recently that demonstrated that the numbers of smokers and non-smokers regularly exposed to secondhand smoke are still high, despite progress in encouraging Americans to quit. While youth smoking levels have fallen, tobacco prevention experts warn officials from declaring the battle against tobacco use over.

The CDC reports that 20.6 of adults reported smoking regularly in 2009. This rate has not dropped since 2004, despite a steady decline from the 42.4 that smoked in 1965. Cigarette sales have fallen steadily however, especially as taxes on tobacco are raised. While many adults continue to smoke, the data indicates that they are smoking less.

In the 9 years between 2008 and 1999, the CDC reports a drop in the number of children and adults exposed to second-hand smoke of 23.6 percent. Unfortunately, that leaves almost 54 percent of children between the ages of 3 and 11 still exposed to secondhand smoke, and four out of 10 non-smokers exposed. These high levels of exposure can only be lowered with stricter smoke-free laws enacted by each state. 28 states, as well as areas like Puerto Rico, and over 500 cities have created legislation to protect non-smokers while in bars, restaurants, and other public places.

Smoking cessation and prevention organizations hope that state and federal government agencies will continue to keep the battle against tobacco use a priority. With continued support and funding for smoking prevention campaigns and cessation programs, Americans can become free of the health problems caused by smoking and other forms of tobacco use.


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