A recent government report reveals that the Americans have started to quit smoking. The report showed that the US smoking rate has dropped below 18% for the first time since last year. This means that there are about 42 million smokers in the United States, same as it was in 2012.
The recent survey was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and released the results on Wednesday, November 26. The study showed that among the 42 million smokers were the less educated and the poor.
The US smoking rate has been stalling at about 20% for a few years, until it started to drop a couple of year ago. In a survey conducted last year, about 17.8% of Americans said they were regular smokers.
Medical studies show that smoking is the country’s leading cause of illnesses. Smoking is responsible for most of the lung cancer and is the leading factor that causes heart attacks and other heart-related diseases.
Norman H. Edelman from the American Lung Association commented on the fact that the US smoking rate has dropped in the last years, saying that:
“People are learning more and more about the terrible effects of smoking.”
Edelman added that other causes that lead to quitting smoking are the higher taxes and the prices of cigarettes.
“People are just understanding how deadly cigarettes are, and it’s become an expensive habit.”
The study shows that it costs more than $289 billion to treat smoking related diseases annually.
The researchers said that they did not include other forms of smoking like cigar smoking or tobacco smoking. Unlike cigarette smoking, these other forms of combustible tobacco have not dropped in the last couple of years. Some studies show that these forms of smoking have even increased in some American populations.
In order to reduce smoking even more, the authors of the study said that there are “proven interventions” that can be adopted, like an increase in cigarette price, an easier access to quit smoking lines, no-smoking polices in public spaces and more anti-tobacco mass media campaigns. The researchers said that this is the only way more Americans will be aware of the dangers of cigarette smoking and will try to quit smoking.