Adult Smoking Rates At All-Time Low: We Are Almost There, America!

The NY Daily News recently reported that adult smoking rates are at an all-time low:

Cigarette smoking is at an all-time low.

Only 15.3% of American adults now light up — down from 16.8% in 2014 and 24.7% in 1997, the Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday.

Americans are butting out because of the high cost of cigarettes and thanks to fewer legal places to smoke, experts said.

[...]

The broad-ranging federal report — based on surveys of 26,000 people — also found:

17.3% of men and 13.5% of women smoke.

The fewest smokers, 8.4%, are among those 65 and older.

Roughly 17% of adults 18 to 64 smoke.

Whites smoke more than blacks with 17.7% to 16.9%. Just under 10% of Hispanics smoke.

Health experts were happy to see that 67.6% of women and 57.9% of men reported that they never smoked.

We need to keep going, America.

Every single day in my practice, I see the devastation wrought by cigarette smoking. It is more addictive than heroin, and if the nicotine in a cigarette was turned into a liquid form and placed on your skin, it could kill you. Studies have shown that the cigarette is the absolute best nicotine delivery device to the brain, and that helps promote addiction.

I had a patient once tell me, "Doc, I beat crack cocaine just like that," and he snapped his fingers. "But," he continued, "I have not been able to beat cigarettes." He later died, in his 40s, from lung cancer, despite everything we did to try to save him. There is absolutely nothing good that comes from cigarette smoking. Absolutely nothing.

We are almost there, America. Yes, it is the lowest rate recorded, but 15.3% is still too many. There are many good treatments to help a person quit smoking, and I encourage everyone to talk to their doctor about it.

For those of you who are not smokers: please do not ever start. And for those of you who are smokers, you are not bad people. But, please, for the sake of your health and well-being, quit as soon as you can.

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