Smoking Rate Is Declining in U.S.
Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Smoke Cigarettes
Smoking and Disease
McKenna tells WebMD that the three leading causes of smoking-related death are lung cancer, heart disease, and COPD. He says between 30% and 40% of smokers try to quit annually, but the success rate is only one in five.
It's unlikely, he adds, that the U.S. will reach its goal of reducing smoking prevalence to 12% in the next two years. But he says media campaigns, excise taxes, and rules implementing smoke-free environments are playing roles in reducing smoking.
Also, he says, "there are now more former smokers than active smokers."
Benefits for those who quit are significant, he says, because stopping smoking drastically reduces risks of cardiovascular disease and COPD.
Glynn says the American Cancer Society fears many people who've quit may start again because "they are thinking they are self-medicating for anxiety and economic difficulties."
He says studies "have shown that smoking in the movies" induces youths to smoke. Glynn also says nonsmoking women are getting lung cancer at higher rates than nonsmoking men, but the reasons aren't clear.
The CDC studies, Glynn says, reinforce that "if we raise taxes [on cigarettes] and continue to widen access to cessation treatment," prevalence will go down more.