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Less than 14% of American adults smoke cigarettes – the lowest rate of smokers in the 50 years since the U.S. Surgeon General first issued a health warning about tobacco smoke.
"This marked decline in cigarette smoking is the achievement of a consistent and coordinated effort by the public health community and our many partners," said Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. "Yet, our work is far from over. The health benefits of quitting smoking are significant, and we are committed to educating Americans about the steps they can take to become tobacco-free."
However, announced this month as part of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, more people are using E-cigarettes or vape pens. And the effects of those are only just beginning to surface.
Many also still use other tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, pipes, hookahs, cigars and cigarillos, the CDC states.
But the numbers are still encouraging. The CDC, the FDA, and the National Cancer Institute teamed up to analyze a health survey to obtain the results. The following is some demographic information from the report about those adults who still smoke or use other forms of tobacco:
By subgroups, use of any tobacco product in 2018 was highest among:
- Adults 25-44 years old (23.8%).
- Adults with a General Education Development (GED) certificate (41.4%).
- Adults who were uninsured (29.9%), insured by Medicaid (27.8%), or received some other public insurance (23.0%).
- Non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (32.3%), multiracial (25.4%), white (21.9%), or black adults (19.3%).
- Lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults (29.2%).
- Adults with an annual household income under $35,000 (26.2%).
- Adults living with a disability (24.3%).
- Adults living in the Midwest (23.6%) or the South (21.4%).
- Adults divorced, separated, or widowed (22.6%), or adults who were single, never married, or not living with a partner (21.1%).
- Adults who reported serious psychological distress (36.7%).
How Do You Quit Smoking?
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, a pathologist and medical author for MedicineNet, offers some quit-smoking tips:
- Set a date for quitting. If possible, plan to have a friend quit smoking with you. It's best to pick a day within the next month. A date too far off in the future will give you a chance to procrastinate and postpone, while a date too soon may not allow you to make a plan for medications or support systems.
- Notice when and why you smoke. Try to find the things in your daily life that you often do while smoking (such as drinking your morning cup of coffee or driving a car).
- Change your smoking routines. Keep your cigarettes in a different place. Smoke with your other hand. Don't do anything else when you are smoking. Think about how you feel when you smoke.
- Smoke only in certain places, such as outdoors.
- When you want a cigarette, wait a few minutes. Try to think of something to do instead of smoking. For example, you might chew gum or drink a glass of water.
- Buy one pack of cigarettes at a time. Switch to a brand of cigarettes that you don't like.
- Get rid of all your cigarettes. Put away your ashtrays.
- Change your morning routine. When you eat breakfast, don't sit in the same place at the kitchen table. Stay busy.
- When you get the urge to smoke, do something else instead.
- Carry other things to put in your mouth, such as gum, hard candy, or a toothpick.
- Reward yourself at the end of the day for not smoking. See a movie or go out and enjoy your favorite meal.
- Tell your friends and family members about your decision to quit smoking, and ask for their support.
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