It is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., but, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overall smoking rates have dropped to a new 50-year low. Fewer than 17 percent of adults said they smoked in 2014 – down a full percentage point from the previous year.
Smoking has been one of the brightest public health successes of recent history. Nearly half of all Americans smoked in the 1960s, but a broad push against the habit, starting with the surgeon general’s warning in 1964, helped bring rates down. The rate has dropped by about a fifth since 2005, when it was 21 percent.
- People in the Midwest smoke more (on average) than Americans elsewhere in the country.
- People on Medicaid are more than twice as likely to smoke as those on Medicare.
- Adults with a GED certificate smoke at eight times the rate of those with graduate degrees.
- Asians smoke less than other ethnic groups.
- Men smoke more than women, but not by much.
According to a story on NBCnews.com, researchers say it’s “not clear if products such as e-cigarettes are helping people quit. So far, there’s little evidence that they are.” The article also quoted CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, as saying:
“This report shows real progress helping American smokers quit and that more progress is possible.”
In the latest ‘America’s Health Rankings‘ Arizona did very well in “low smoking prevalence.” Our state is ranked ninth in the nation with about 16.3 percent of adults saying they still light up. That is below the record low national rate of 16.8 percent reported last year.
Continuing to lead the way in this critical health measure is another step in our goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!