In the mid-1960s about two out of every five adults smoked. Today it’s more like one in five. However, although smoking rates have been dropping for decades, they actually are on thhe rise according to a national survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
By now most people are well aware of the health hazards of cigarettes and other forms of tobacco. The CDC states:
“Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the United States. Each year, an estimated 443,000 people die prematurely from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, and another 8.6 million have a serious illness caused by smoking.
For every person who dies from smoking, 20 more people suffer from at least one serious tobacco-related illness. Despite these risks, approximately 43.4 million U.S. adults smoke cigarettes. Smokeless tobacco, cigars, and pipes also have deadly consequences, including lung, larynx, esophageal, and oral cancers.”
The best way to prevent these illnesses, of course, is to quit smoking – a task the majority of smokers say they want to do. According to the American Heart Association:
“More than four in five smokers say they want to quit. And each year about 1.3 million smokers do quit. With good smoking cessation programs, 20 to 40 percent of participants are able to quit smoking and stay off cigarettes for at least one year.”