Friday, December 24, 2010

What About Smoking Rate in United States?

Cigarette smoking is known to be a risk factor of causing breathing problems and lung cancer, and it is a major cause of heart disease for men and women, too. About 20 percent of all deaths from heart disease in the United States are directly linked to smoking. That is why cigarette smoking is named as the leading preventable cause of disease of deaths in the United States.

While authorities have been trying many means to curb the smoking rate, there are still more than 46 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and it is estimated that smoking still kills 1,000 Americans a day.

According to a report released on September 7, 2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking rate remains unchanged in 2009 with about 1 in 5 adults still smoke regularly. Meanwhile, teen smoking has also not been improving, and remains at nearly 20 percent.

Since 2004, smoking rate has been flat after falling dramatically since the 1960s through heavy tobacco taxes. Perhaps the health authorities have lost momentum because of reductions of anti-tobacco campaigns, or a lack of funding to support programs that help smokers quit. Meanwhile, cigarette producers have come up with brilliant marketing strategies to increase their sales.

It is the second report that indicated nearly all children (98 percent) who live with a smoker have measurable tobacco toxins in their body worried health experts.

Environmental tobacco smoke (passive smoke or more commonly known as secondhand smoke) can cause chronic respiratory conditions, cancer and heart disease. It is estimated that each year, around 35,000 nonsmokers who exposed to secondhand smoke die from heart disease.

In surveying a total of more than 30,000 nonsmokers between 1999 and 2008, it was found that the detectable levels of cotinine had dropped over the 10 years, from about 52 percent to 40 percent. The reduction could be due to more smoking bans in workplaces, restaurants and other public places.

Nevertheless, the findings also highlighted some bad news. For example, most of the decline in smoking rate came about 10 years ago, and more than half of the children aged between 3 and 11 living in United States are exposed to secondhand smoke with no safe level of exposure. And more importantly, there has been virtually no improvement for children who live with a smoker.

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