Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Smoking in the U.S. and Colorado decreases...danger remains

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans smoke. The percentage of American adults who smoke decreased from 20.9% in 2005 to 19.3% in 2010, resulting in 3 million fewer smokers. During that same time, the percentage of Colorado adults who smoke decreased from 20% to 16%, resulting in more than 100,000 fewer smokers.

Smokers are smoking less. The percentage of adult daily smokers who smoke 30 or more cigarettes per day dropped from 18% in 2005 to 8% in 2010.

Half of all adults who continue to smoke will die from smoking related causes.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability and death, according to this month's Vital Signs report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While smoking rates continue to fall, tobacco still kills 443,000 Americans and more than 5,000 Coloradans each year. Tobacco-related health care costs Americans more than $96 billion and Coloradans $1.3 billion each year.

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, the voter-approved tobacco tax and public health interventions have helped reduce the number of smokers and the cases of tobacco-related disease and death. CDC's Vital Signs report recommends further actions for tobacco users, state and community leaders, parents, employers and merchants. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment initiatives focus on preventing youth smoking, expanding smoke-free housing and public places, and helping smokers quit via the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT.NOW.

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