Smoking Rates on the Decline
A recent report by cbs.com indicates that smoking in the U.S. is declining more rapidly than ever. In fact, they reported that, “The rate of smoking among adults in the U.S. fell to 15 percent last year thanks to the biggest one-year decline in more than 20 years. The rate fell 2 percentage points from 2014, when about 17 percent of adults in a large national survey said they had recently smoked. The smoking rate has been falling for decades, but it usually drops only 1 point or less in a year.” A recent government survey was the source for the reported trends.
In the United States, smoking is the nation’s leading cause of preventable illness. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. The recent survey pertained to 2015 and researchers don’t know exactly why the drop happened nor do they know if the trend will continue.
Interestingly, about 50 years ago, about 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked. Many remember encountering cigarette smoke in offices, restaurants, airplanes and even hospitals. Awareness of disease has been key in the gradual decline of smoking in the U.S. Also, anti-smoking campaigns launched years ago as well as recently have proven effective along with bans on smoking in certain locations/areas.
Further, research also points to the fact that e-cigarettes use is on the rise as smoking traditional cigarettes is declining. Perhaps e-cigarettes are replacing traditional cigarettes. But many wonder if the e-cigarette popularity will propel smoking back into greater rates or continue to replace the habit altogether. Either way, experts fear that the addiction to nicotine, which occurs with either smoking method, will continue and will prove dangerous.