Cigarette smoking in the United States continues to be the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, causing approximately 443,000 premature deaths annually, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Tuesday. This is the annual study based on the 2009 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data. The study was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
About the study
CDC found that despite significant decline in the smoking during the past 30 years, cigarette smoking in the United States continues to be widespread. This seems odd considering that smoking cessation aids are one of the many items covered by the ACA. The smoking rate is high, especially in people living below the federal poverty level and with low education. The report findings revealed that:
- About 20.9% of adults smoked in 2005 and 20.6% in 2009. The figures shows no significant difference.
- About 36% of high school students smoked in 1997, the rate dropped to 22% by 2003. In 2009 still 20% school students smoke, that shows a very slow decline rate
- Smoking prevalence did not vary significantly for adults aged 18-24 years (21.8%), 25-44 years (24.0%), and 45-64 years (21.9%); however, it was lowest for adults aged ≥65 years (9.5%)
- Regionally, smoking prevalence was higher in the Midwest and South. Kentucky and West Virginia had the highest smoking rates at 26%
- Utah had the lowest smoking rate for the second year in a row, although it was up from 9.2 to 10% overall.
- California had a smoking rate just below 13%
Researchers emphasized that the reason for having lowest rate of smoking in California and Utah is due to the fact that both...
the states have strong anti-smoking and cancer prevention programs, which has also significantly reduced the rate of lung cancer in those states.
Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, CDC director told in a news conference “If all the states had cancer prevention programs like those in California and Utah, 5 million fewer people would be smoking and at least 1 million fewer people would die annually.
Smoking is not only harmful for the smokers, but also for those who inhale the smoke. A recent study reported that low levels of exposure to cigarette smoke (passive smoking) can alternate the function of genes implicated in lung diseases. The negative health consequences of cigarette smoking have been well-documented and include cardiovascular diseases, multiple cancers, pulmonary diseases, adverse reproductive outcomes, and exacerbation of other chronic health conditions. If you would like to quit smoking and wondering how can you do that here are some tips that may help you to cease your smoking habit.
Various states have been working on prevention strategies such as tobacco taxes, media campaigns, and smoke-free policies that can help adults quit and prevent the uptake of tobacco use. I hope states will take the CDC report seriously and will focus more on their prevention programs to provide benefits to smokers, if they quit.