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U.S. Smoking Rate Dips To Record Low, Report

Update Date: Nov 16, 2015 09:06 AM EST
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Last year, the number of cigarette smokers dropped steeply, as just 16.8 percent of adults were smoking. It was a 20 percent drop from the rate in 2005, according to HNGN.

The information was gathered and released in a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Thursday, revealing that the smoking rate among adults was 16.8 percent in 2014, which was a considerable drop from the 20.9 percent in 2005 and 17.8 percent in 2013.

This is the lowest statistic that has been documented since the agency started tracking it.

The study also showed that on an average, the number of cigarettes smoked everyday also fell from 16.7 in 2005 to 13.8 in 2014.

The largest drop among smokers was recorded in adults between the ages of 18 and 24 years.

The drop has been attributed to rising rates of media drives, and availability of non-smoking options, such as e-cigarrettes, according to UPI.

It has been difficult for many smokers to quit smoking, especially the poor. "The smoking rate for those on Medicaid, the federally funded health care program for low-income Americans, stood at 29.1 percent in 2014. That's compared to only 12.9 percent of adults on private health insurance who continued to smoke cigarettes. As for the uninsured, 27.9 percent smoked," according to HNGN.

Among those who earned below the federal poverty level of $19,790 per year, 26.3 percent were smokers.

About 43 per cent of those who had a general education development certificate, or GED, were smokers compared to just five percent of graduate adults.

Adults in the age of 25-44 years showed more rates of smoking compared to just 20 per cents overall.

The multiracials who smoked included 28 percent, while the lesbian, gays, or bisexuals who smoked were just 23.9 percent.

"Disparities are the single most important issue in smoking," Kenneth Warner, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health said. "The people who are politically influential believe the smoking problem has been solved. It's not in their neighborhoods. Their friends don't smoke. Those who still smoke are the poor, the disenfranchised, the mentally ill. That's who we need to focus on."

The report was released when the federal authorities drew up a policy to ban smoking in public housing, which would impact more than 700,000 homes if implemented, according to TIME.

"We have a responsibility to protect public housing residents from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke," was HUD Secretary Julian Castro's statement. "This proposed rule will help improve the health of more than 760,000 children and help public housing agencies save $153 million every year in health care, repairs and preventable fires."

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