Smoking Drops in US Adults

Smoking Rate Falls to 15%

On September 1, 2015, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released findings of a survey about smoking rate in US residents. http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/centers-for-disease-control-news-120/ The Findings: Just over 15% of US adults report that they are current smokers (during first 3 months of 2015). For 2014, the rate was 17%. For 2013, the rate was 18%. Experts believe that the overall decline in the past few years is due to several factors:
  1. tough anti-smoking messages
  2. higher taxes on cigarettes
  3. laws that ban smoking from indoor and outdoor public places
nosmoking Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease in the US including COPD, heart disease, and lung cancer. My comment: The smoking rate has fallen dramatically since 1965 when 42% of adults smoked. Although the decline is clearly good news, efforts must continue to prevent youth from starting to smoke and offering help to those who want to quit. Similar efforts should be made to discourage use of other smoking products such as cigars, hookahs, and electronic cigarettes. thantismoking1 Isn’t it time for health care systems that promote healthy living and sustainable health as well as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide incentives to individuals to achieve this goal?      

Donald A. Mahler, M.D. is Emeritus Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire. He works as a pulmonary physician at Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH, where he is Director of Respiratory Services.