The bad news: Tobacco use – i.e. smoking – causes about 443,000 deaths a year in the U.S., according to the 2010 Surgeon General’s report.
The good news: Smoking among young adults aged 18 to 24 declined during the 2005 to 2011 period from 24.4 percent to 18.9 percent – from nearly one in four to less than one in five – according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That decline in smoking among young adults was included in a recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) from the CDC.
“That’s great news that young adults are smoking less,” says Jefferson medical oncologist Barbara Campling, MD.
While the report doesn’t address the causes behind the significant decline in smoking among 18 to 24 year olds, Dr. Campling says, “there must be a change in the balance of factors, which influence young people to take up smoking – peer pressure, deceptive marketing by tobacco companies – and factors which convince them not to start or to quit– increased taxes on tobacco, antismoking media campaigns.”
And she adds: “With smoke-free workplaces and public places, smoking may no longer be considered a socially acceptable habit. Or maybe kids are just getting smarter.”
The downward trend is certainly significant.
In addition to accounting for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year, smoking adds billions to the nation’s healthcare bill. The CDC report notes that smoking costs the U.S. an estimated $96 billion in direct medical expenses.
If you or someone you care about wants to quit smoking, but needs help, JeffQuit may be right for you. You’ll discover scientific new ways to quit cigarettes for good – ways that let you succeed from the very first.
The next JeffQuit session starts on January 8, 2013 at the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center‘s Division of Fitness and Lifestyle Programs, located at 1013 Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia. The program fee is $249, which is less than what you may spend on cigarettes for the month. Call 1-800 JEFF-NOW (800-533-3669) to enroll.