Jul 18, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Smoking Rate Drops Among US Adults -- Study

Sep 03, 2015 07:49 PM EDT

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A new report by the Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has unveiled that the number of tobacco cigarette smokers in America is at its lowest point in decades. According to the findings of the new survey, the prevalence of smoking has reduced now to around only 15% of the American population.

According to the report, the prevalence of current cigarette smoking habits among American adults declined from 24.7 percent in 1997 to just 15.2 percent in  2015. The report also suggests that smoking continues to be more prevalent among men (17.4) than women (13%).

Of all ethnic minorities in the U.S., the survey has found that smoking is most common among African Americans (18.1%), followed by whites (17.1%) and Hispanics (10.4%). According to CDC, smoking can cause many types of cancers and other illnesses. However, smoking is also one of the leading preventable cause of death in America, meaning that a change in lifestyle and habits would be enough to lower these statistic numbers.

According to CDC, smoking is the leading cause for the deaths of 480,000 Americans every year. In the year 1965, smokers represented 42% of the US population, unlike today's much lower numbers.

A large national survey is a base for the report findings. A possible explanation of the decline in the number of adult smokers can be related to factors like higher cigarette taxes, anti- smoking advertising campaigns, smoking bans, and the increasing popularity of other alternatives to traditional cigarettes, such as the electronic cigarettes.

According to Kenneth Warner, a professor of health policy and management at the University of Michigan, this findings of this survey would be exciting, if this decrease will hold up to show "in data for the full year".

Tobacco use is not only the single largest preventable cause of disease and death in the U.S. but also raises other issues related to second-hand smoking. According to scientists, from the 480,000 deaths related to cigarette smoke each year, more than 41,000 of them come from exposure to secondhand smoke.

According to statistics, in addition, in the United States smoking-related illness costs more than $300 billion a year. From this amount, nearly $156 billion are costs related to lost productivity and $170 billion are costs in direct medical care for adults.

The results of this new survey are better than data from back in 2013, for instance, when an estimated 17.8% (42.1 million) U.S. adults were current cigarette smokers. From them, around 76.9% (32.4 million) were smoking every day and 23.1% (9.7 million) were smoking only some days.

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