Photo: Getty Images
Some good news coming from the Centers for Disease Control is that smoking among American adults is decreasing. While almost one in five adults smoke, the amount of cigarettes smoked per day is lessening. If people are not ready to quit, they are certainly making an effort to cut down. Between 2005-2010, about three million adults have quit.
But experts warn that these numbers aren't good enough to cause a dent in the amount of people dying from smoking. While obesity-linked health problems are fast catching up, smoking remains the number one cause of preventable deaths in this country. And while it's good that people are cutting down on how much they smoke, quitting completely should be the main goal of smokers.
What's fairly similar to the statistics on obesity is that smokers also tend to be working class or those living at/below the poverty level. They tend to live in the Midwest and the South and are less educated that their non-smoking peers (there are exceptions to this, of course).
The CDC is revving up its recommendations to increase education to parents about smoking in the home and car, programs to educate children to never smoke in the first place (teen smoking is on the rise) and to tighten restrictions on tobacco advertising and sponsorship. They would also like to see programs for smoking cessation to be included in insurance plans. While three million fewer smokers since 2005, progress has been rather slow, but steady.
About half of those who smoke will die prematurely because of tobacco use and most of the other half will experience health complications that are long and painful, or die from complications due to smoking. Because the damage that tobacco does is on the inside (aside from the aging aspects) and because there are few behavioral consequences, perhaps support is not seen as being as important as it is with other addictions.
Smoking is a deadly addiction that is extremely difficult to quit -- often harder than alcohol or many drugs. People wishing to quit need as much support and encouragement as any other addict.
If you'd like to join EmpowHER's online Smoking Cessation Support Group, click here: