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'Real progress': Percentage of U.S. smokers
plummets, CDC finds
'Real progress': Percentage of U.S. smokers plummets, CDC finds
They're not sure of all the reasons why, but credit anti-smoking campaigns, better insurance coverage to help people kick the habit, and tougher laws that make it harder to smoke in a growing number places.
But the researchers note that people covered by Medicaid the government health insurance plan for low-income people, and those who don't have any health insurance at all are far more likely to smoke than people with good health insurance.
"The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes declined from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 16.8 percent in 2014," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team wrote in their report.
"Cigarette smoking was significantly lower in 2014 (16.8 percent) than in 2013 (17.8 percent)."
The CDC team used an annual survey of Americans for their findings.
One troubling finding: adults who are uninsured or on Medicaid smoke at rates more than double those for adults with private health insurance or Medicare.
"Data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey show that 27.9 percent of uninsured adults and 29.1 percent of Medicaid recipients currently smoke," the researchers wrote. "By contrast, 12.9 percent of adults with private insurance and 12.5 percent of those on Medicare currently smoke."
Men are more likely to smoke than women - 18.8 percent versus 14.8 percent. People over 65 are the least likely to smoke - just 8.5 percent of them do.
"Smoking kills half a million Americans each year and costs more than $300 billion," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a statement.
"This report shows real progress helping American smokers quit and that more progress is possible."
Last year, smoking rates hit a 50-year low. Now they're even lower.
"Our tremendous progress shows that we know how to win the fight against tobacco. Proven solutions must be fully implemented across the nation, including higher tobacco taxes, strong smoke-free laws, well-funded tobacco prevention and cessation programs that include mass media campaigns, and comprehensive, barrier-free health insurance coverage for smoking cessation treatments," said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
"After stalling in the mid-2000s, adult and youth smoking rates began declining again after the federal cigarette tax was increased by 62 cents in 2009. Significant additional increases in federal and state cigarette taxes can further drive down smoking rates," Myers added.
The researchers say it's not clear if products such as e-cigarettes are helping people quit. So far, there's little evidence that they are.
Separately, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a proposed rule that would force public housing agencies to limit smoking in developments.It would ban smoking in publicly funded apartments or houses, offices and outdoor areas in those developments.
"In addition to protecting non-smokers, smoke-free public housing policies would encourage smokers living in affected properties to quit smoking," said Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
The American Lung Association and American Academy of Pediatrics praised the move, too.
"A February 2015 CDC study found that two in five children living
in federally subsidized housing overall are exposed to secondhand
smoke. Even more troubling is that seven in ten African-American
children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes," the groups
said in a joint statement.
This years Great American Smokeout® will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2009. Statistical references are from the American Cancer Societys Cancer Facts & Figures, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In 1971, Arthur P. Mullaney created an event in Randolph, Massachusetts, which asked people to give up cigarettes for a day and donate the money they would have spent on cigarettes to a high school scholarship fund.
On Thursday, November 18, 1976, the California Division of the American Cancer Society® got nearly one million of the states five million smokers to quit for the day on the Great American Smokeout®.
The first national Great American Smokeout® was held on the third Thursday of November in 1977.
The American Cancer Societys Great American Smokeout® has been chaired by some of Americas most popular celebrities, including Sammy Davis, Jr., Edward Asner, Natalie Cole, Larry Hagman, and Surgeon General C. Everett Koop. The event has helped millions of Americans quit by proving they can quit for a day and therefore, they can quit for a lifetime.
Tobacco-Related CancersFact Sheet
Tobacco use accounted for more than 435,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2000 (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -Thirty percent of all cancer deaths and 87% of lung cancer deaths can be attributed to tobacco. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -Smoking is associated with increased risk for at least 15 types of cancer: nasopharnyx, nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, lip, oral cavity, pharynx, lung, esophagus, pancrease, uterine, cervix, kidney, bladder, stomach, acute leukemia. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -In 2005, there will be about 172,570 new cases of lung and bronchus cancers in the U.S. 93,010 male, 70,560 female. Approximately 163,510 will die; 90,490 male, 73,020 female. (Source:Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -An estimated 46 million U.S. adults (22.8% of the population) are current smokers. (Source:Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -Each year, about 3,000 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke and an additional 35,000 to 40,000 cases of heart disease deaths in nonsmokers. (Source:Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -Cigar smoking has health consequences and hazards similar to those of cigarettes such as: cancer of the lung, oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and the pancreas. (Source:Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -Among adults age 18 and older, national data showed 6% of men and 1% of women were current users of chewing tobacco or snuff. (Source:Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -Oral cancer occurs several times more frequently among snuff dippers compared with non-tobacco users. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -Smokers who quit before the age of 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who continue to smoke. (Source:Cancer Facts and Figures 2005) -If all adults stopped tobacco use and children did not start, nearly 30% of all cancer deaths could be prevented. (Source:Cancer Control State of the Science Guide). -Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death for men and women. (Source: Cancer Facts and Figures 2005)
Secondhand Smoke Statistics -Secondhand smoke, or environmental
tobacco smoke (ETS), contains numerous human carcinogens for which
there is no safe level of exposure. Scientific consensus groups have
repeatedly reviewed the data on ETS. (Source: Cancer Facts and
Figures 2005) -Secondhand smoke has been classified by the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of lung cancer
in humans (Group A carcinogen) -Secondhand smoke is estimated by EPA
to cause approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths in nonsmokers each
year. -An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 deaths are caused from heart
disease in people who are not current smokers, but are exposed to
secondhand smoke. -Exposure causes irritation of the eye, nose and
throat, coughing, phlegm, chest discomfort and reduced lung function
in nonsmokers. -Secondhand smoke contains over 4,000 substances, more
than 40 of which are known or suspected carcinogens. -Secondhand
smoke may affect the cardiovascular system, and most studies have
linked exposure to secondhand smoke with the onset of chest pain.
-Infants and young children whose parents smoke are among the most
seriously affected by exposure to secondhand smoke. -Each year,
exposure to secondhand smoke causes 150,000 to 300,000 lower
respiratory tract infections (such as pneumonia and bronchitis) in
infants and children younger than 18 months of age, resulting in
between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year. -In the U.S., 43
percent of children are exposed to secondhand smoke in their own
homes and 85 percent of children have detectable levels of nicotine
in their blood. -Secondhand smoke exposure causes buildup of fluid in
the middle ear, resulting in 700,000 to 1.6 million physician office
visits. Middle ear infections are the most common cause of childhood
operations and of childhood hearing loss.