Why has smoking suddenly taken such a big downturn?
The percentage of adult cigarette smokers is plummeting in the United States.
Between 2005 and 2014, smoking dropped from 20.9 percent to 16.8 percent, meaning close to a fifth of smokers threw away their cigarettes for good in the last 10 years, according to a UPI report.
The extensive media campaigns and new laws, in combination with products that make quitting easier, appears to finally be having an effect in taking a huge bite out of overall smoking figures, based on new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released on Friday.
Encouragingly, it was adults between 18 and 24 who showed the biggest drop in cigarette usage, which is exactly the demographic anit-smoking advocates have been targeting.
It’s possible they’re fleeing to e-cigarettes rather than quitting altogether.
Those with private health insurance or Medicare had by far the lowest rates of smoking, at about 12.9 and 12.5 percent respectively, whereas those on Medicaid or without insurance were close to 30 percent.
The goal is to get cigarette consumption to 12 percent or less by 2020, and this CDC report is part of that effort.
Smoking is a deadly activity that can lead to lung cancer and can cause myriad other health problems, killing half a million Americans each year and costing the economy an estimated $300 billion, according to the CDC.
“Changes in the U.S. health-care system continue to offer opportunities to improve the use of clinical preventive services among adults,” a CDC statement reads. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is increasing the number of Americans with health insurance and is expected to improve tobacco cessation coverage.”