четверг, 12 июля 2007 г.

Cigarette Smoking

The 1982 Surgeon General's Report stated that "Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality in the United States." This statement is as true today as it was in 1982.

Smoking is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors -- activities that individuals choose to do -- smoking is the most preventable cause of premature death in our society.

The purpose of this document is to provide a brief overview of cigarette smoking: who smokes, how it affects health, what makes it so hard to quit, and what some of the many benefits of quitting are. For more information about quitting smoking, see the American Cancer Society document, "Guide to Quitting Smoking."

Who Smokes?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 44.5 million US adults were current smokers in 2004 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). This is 20.9% of all adults (23.4% of men, 18.5% of women) -- more than 1 out of 5 people.

When broken down by race/ethnicity, the numbers were as follows:

Whites 22.2%

African Americans 20.2%

Hispanics 15.0%

merican Indians/Alaska Natives 33.4%

Asian Americans 11.3%

The numbers were higher in younger age groups. Almost 24% of those 18 to 44 years old were current smokers, compared to less than 9% in those aged 65 or older.

Nationwide, 22.3% of high school students and 8.1% of middle school students were current smokers in 2004. White and Hispanic students were among the highest in terms of cigarette use. (For more information, see the American Cancer Society document, "Child and Teen Tobacco Use.")

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