We'll always be happy to hear that fewer Americans are smoking, but we're saddened to hear that the rate of that decline is slowing.
Smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing an estimated 443,000 Americans each year.
The report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows 19.3 percent of American adults over age 18 — roughly 45 million people — smoked in 2010, down from 20.9 percent in 2005.
And while smoking rates are still falling, CDC officials said, the pace of decline between 2005 and 2010 is slower than in the previous five-year period.
Between 2006 and 2007, there was no change in U.S. smoking rates at all.
Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC Office on Smoking and Health, said the slowing trend signifies the need for states to intensify tobacco control efforts.
For every one smoking-related death, an additional 20 people live with a smoking-related disease, including lung and other cancers, respiratory diseases such as emphysema and cardiovascular disease.
We can't stress enough that smoking related disease is PREVENTABLE.
Which means it DOESN'T HAVE TO HAPPEN.
Yet people still choose to smoke. Why?
Makes no sense!
Keep up the quitting, guys! Need to jump start that decline again!
[Image via AP Images.]