We're Still Smoking Too Much

And we're hurting our kids.

We’re Still Smoking Too Much

And we’re hurting our kids.

-Jane Farrell

Woman smoking

Unfortunately, if you smoke cigarettes you’re one of millions.

The federal Centers for Disease Control reported that although the number of Americans who smoke dropped between 2000 and 2005, the smoking rate has leveled off, and that’s not a good thing.

“The 40-year decline in tobacco in the United States has stalled,” CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said at a news conference, reported on the website of the National Institutes of Health.

Frieden said the increase was due to the insidious way the tobacco industry advertises its products. They’ve created new products to allure consumers, and they direct some marketing efforts at children.

Twenty-four percent of men smoke, according to a 2009 survey, while 18 percent of women have a tobacco habit. The report also said that smoking was more prevalent among lower-income and less educated consumers.

Read Stop Smoking—and Stay Skinny

In addition to the millions who smoke and are affected by their habit, approximately 88 million Americans, including children, are seriously affected by secondhand smoke, the CDC said. Matthew Myers, head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said on the CDC website that the “high level of child exposure to secondhand smoke underscores the need for parents to take additional steps to protect children, such as ensuring that homes, cars and other places frequented by children are smoke-free.”

For a free step-by-step guide to quitting smoking, visit www.smokefree.gov.

Added David Katz, M.D., director of the Preventive Research Center at Yale University, “Our goal should be nothing less than the elimination of tobacco use.” (National Institutes of Health)

Jane Farrell is a senior editor at Betty Confidential.

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