Cigarette smoking hits record low in U.S.
Cigarette smoking among American adults has hit a record low, according to the U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Just 15.2 percent of adults 18 years old or older smoke cigarettes. The CDC originally estimated that the smoking rate for 2015 would be 16.8 percent.
“It is encouraging to see the smoking rate continue to decline, but there are still millions of smokers, which is a significant public health problem,” says Dr. Robert Johnson, cardiologist with Advocate Heart Institute at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill.
The National Health Interview Survey, which looked at the health trends in early 2015, also found:
- More men smoke than women (17.4 percent compared with 13 percent)
- More men than women are former cigarette smokers (24.3 percent compared with 19.9 percent)
- More women than men never smoked (67 percent compared with 58.3 percent)
Smoking causes about one in every five U.S. deaths annually and smokers can expect to live about 10 years less than nonsmokers, the CDC estimates. Smoking can lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is an umbrella term used to describe progressive lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and non-reversible asthma.
“Other major medical problems directly related to smoking include lung cancer, head and neck cancer, several other cancers, coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease,” says Dr. Johnson.
He stresses that second-hand smoke is a risk factor for all of the same diseases as smoking.
If you smoke and want to quit, Dr. Johnson offers these tips:
- Make a plan
- Set a quit date
- Get help and support from friends and family
- Get rid of your cigarettes
- Change your routine in some way to avoid temptations to smoke
He adds that people who want to quit smoking also should seek help and support from their health care provider for products such as nicotine replacement patches and/or gum, and medication because they can help increase the likelihood of successfully stopping smoking.
About the Author
Kathleen Troher, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Good Sheperd Hospital in Barrington. She has more than 20 years of journalism experience, with her primary focus in the newspaper and magazine industry. Kathleen graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, earning her degree in journalism with an emphasis on science writing and broadcasting. She loves to travel with her husband, Ross. They share their home with a sweet Samoyed named Maggie.