Researchers weren’t able to pinpoint the exact cause for the decline, but they do believe that some of the following factors played a huge role – smoking bans in public places, better insurance coverage to provide smokers with smoking cessation programs, and higher tobacco taxes.
According to a report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of U.S. smokers fell from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 16.8 percent last year.
The report also revealed an abrupt decline from 2013 to 2014 when number of smokers dropped to 16.8 percent from 17.8 percent a year prior.
New York state officials recently unveiled that tobacco smoking is the top cause of preventable disease and death across the state. About 28,200 people die in the state every year because of smoking, while 600,000 more people struggle with a serious disease caused by the habit.
CDC reported that about one million of U.S. smokers die every year because of smoking. Additionally, smoking costs states and the federal government $300 billion in health care costs every year. CDC was positive that the new figures suggest that efforts to curb smoking among U.S. population paid off.
Dr Laurent Greillier at the Hopital Nord in France, explained that quitting smoking is critical for people who want to stay away from various cancers including lung cancer.
CDC researchers also found that people enrolled in Medicaid, a health insurance program provided by the U.S. government to low-income people, and those that lack a health insurance plan are more likely to continue smoking than those with a better insurance plan.
Patricia Folan, head of the Center for Tobacco Control in New York, believes that higher tobacco taxes, anti-smoking campaigns, and smoking bans for both indoor and outdoor locations may deter even the most addicted smokers from continuing the habit.
Nevertheless, CDC investigators couldn’t tell whether e-cigarettes can help people quit.
According to the report’s background data, 27.9 percent of adults who lack health insurance and 29.1 percent of Medicaid enrollees currently smoke. Only 12.5 of Medicare recipients, and 12.9 percent of people with a private health insurance coverage smoke.
Researchers also found that men are less likely to quit smoking than women, and so are those under 65 year or above age range.
Tobacco-free groups believe that a rise in federal tobacco taxes may deter smoking even more.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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