The good news and bad news from the latest big smoking report

The good news and bad news from the latest big smoking report

A new Center for Disease Control report has some good news and some bad news.

The bad news: Nearly 20% of American adults use tobacco products, most commonly cigarettes. And those 49 million people put themselves at increased risk for all the serious health problems that can follow.

The good news: Cigarette smoking has reached an “all-time low,” the CDC reports. It says 13.7% of Americans smoked in 2018.

“This is very encouraging that tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, continues to decline,” Dr. Michael S. Vercillo, a thoracic surgeon with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., says. “This is likely related to more publicity and education on the harmful effects of tobacco use. Lung cancer screening is becoming more prevalent at hospitals across the nation, providing further counseling to stop smoking, as well as more diagnosed nodules and lung cancer causing patients to quit.”

The CDC report says quitting smoking at any age can be beneficial to your health. It says that smoking is responsible for 480,000 deaths in the U.S. each year, including 41,000 just from inhaling second-hand smoke. That’s helped lead to more strict rules around cigarette use over the years, from banning smoking indoors to even cutting back on the depiction of smoking on TV.

Vaping is “increasing slightly” in its place, Dr. Vercillo says, even as the number of acute illnesses linked to vaping grows across the country in recent months.

“We are learning more about some possible harmful effects from vaping, and publicity about it is increasing,” Dr. Vercillo says. “This may lead to a decline in vaping, as well. As we strive to become a more healthy society, decreasing tobacco use will play a large role in reaching that goal.”

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  1. It’s great news that smoking is on the decline, thanks in large part to vaping, which is scientifically been shown to be at least 95% safer than a deadly combustible cigarette. We now know that all of the lung illnesses were due to illicit thc (marijuana) cartridges and not nicotine eliquid. It’s wonderful for the people who have quit smoking using ecigarettes to have this as a safer alternative.

  2. Don’t know where you are getting your information. Vaping nicotine is NOT a safe alternate to smoking cigarettes. Nicotine is one of the most potent poisons in any form and the most addictive of drugs. That’s why vaping is not allowed in public places. You need to educate yourself with accurate research and speak to some physicians!

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About the Author

Mike Riopell
Mike Riopell

Mike Riopell, health enews contributor, is a media relations coordinator with Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. He previously worked as a reporter and editor covering politics and government for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and Bloomington Pantagraph, among others. He enjoys bicycles, home repair, flannel shirts and being outside.