Entries in Heavy Smokers (2)


Studies Show Smokers Are Smoking Less

Peter Dazeley/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) - Fewer American adults are smoking cigarettes, according to a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The report also says that daily smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes each day.

The report covers data from 2005 to 2010 and shows an estimated 19.3 percent of American adults, aged 18 and older, continue to smoke, marking a decline from 20.9 percent in 2005.

CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. says that although any decline in the number of smokers is a step in the right direction, tobacco use still remains a significant health burden for the people of United States.

The data from CDC’s National Health Interview Survey show fewer American adults are smoking. However, the rate of the decline between 2005 and 2010 is slower than in the previous five-year period.

Tim McAfee, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, says the slowing trend shows the need for more intensified efforts to reduce cigarette smoking amongst adults, and points to the success of efforts such as higher tobacco prices, aggressive media campaigns and graphic health warnings, to name a few.

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Tobacco use and exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke kill an estimated 443,000 Americans each year. 

In addition to the loss of human life, the CDC also reports smoking costs about $193 billion annually in direct health care expenses and lost productivity.

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Heavy Smoking Rates, Lung Cancer Deaths Declining in the US

Brand X Pictures/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- The percentage of heavy smokers (those who smoke one or more packs a day) has dropped significantly over the last 40 years, particularly in California, a recent survey shows.

Lead researcher John P. Pierce, PhD, of the University of California - San Diego, and colleagues looked at data from national surveys from 1965 to 2007, which included 139,176 respondents from California and 1,662,353 from the overall U.S. population. 

Pierce and his team reported that the percentage of adult smokers in the U.S. who smoked 20 or more cigarettes a day fell from 23.2 percent in 1965 to 7.2 percent in 2007.  The researchers observed a more dramatic decline heavy smokers in California, with numbers falling from 22.9 percent in 1965 to just 2.6 percent in 2007.

Their analysis, published in the March 16 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found no accompanying increase in the numbers of people who smoke less intensely. (Researchers defined moderate smokers as smoking 10 to 19 cigarettes a day and low intensity smokers as smoking zero to nine cigarettes a day).

Overall, Pierce attributes the decrease in heavy smokers to fewer young people taking up the habit in the first place. He adds that California's large decline may be due to the state's more aggressive approach to public health campaigns.

The study also found a decrease in deaths from lung cancer.  In 1993, lung cancer deaths peaked at 117 out of 100,000.  The rate fell to 102 out of 100,000 in 2007.

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