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.

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


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.


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?




Stopping Smoking – Will My COPD Go from Moderate to Mild?

Stopping Smoking Will Reduce Inflammation

Dear Dr. Mahler:
Is it possible after stopping smoking and following doctors orders to go from moderate to mild copd in a year? Is it detrimental to a copd patient to live in a basement apartment- 5 steps down? The  furnace is not in the apartment. 
Ken from Richmond, VA 
 Dear Ken:
 Yes, if you stop smoking, the inflammation in your breathing tubes (airways) will be reduced and your lung function (results of breathing tests) will improve. How much is hard to say. Also, it is likely that your breathing tubes will produce less mucus because the irritation from smoking cigarettes will have stopped.
Reminder for Stopping Smoking

Reminder for Stopping Smoking

The categories of mild (FEV1 > 80% predicted) and moderate (FEV1 50 – 80% predicted) COPD are based on specific values on breathing tests.  If you have stopped smoking, I congratulate you and encourage you not to smoke again.  If you are still smoking, it is important that you stop completely to prevent worsening (progression) of your COPD.
I am not aware that living in a basement apartment is bad for your breathing. Certainly, you want to breathe as much fresh air as possible.
Donald A. Mahler, M.D.