Study: In US, cigarette smoking reaches new low

Two urban teen girls sitting on stairs and smoking. — AFP pic
Two urban teen girls sitting on stairs and smoking. — AFP pic

WASHINGTON, July 19 — Just 13.9 per cent of the US population smokes cigarettes, according to a US government report today which said the American smoking rate has reached “the lowest level ever recorded”.

The findings by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics refer to adult cigarette smokers in 2017.

A previous CDC report using 2016 data found that 15.5 per cent of adults smoked.

A half century ago, more than 40 per cent of adults smoked in the United States.

Decades of health warnings have boosted public awareness that the addictive habit can cause lung and many other cancers, resulting in a declining number of smokers, experts say.

However, large disparities remain, with people living in rural areas still far more likely to smoke than city-dwellers, said the latest CDC report.

Just 11 per cent of adults in a metro area of one million people or more smoke, compared to nearly 22 per cent in rural areas, it said.

People living outside city centers also “had the highest rates of being obese, having experienced serious psychological distress during the past 30 days, or having diagnosed diabetes,” said the report. — AFP

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