Take a look around. If you don't smoke, congratulations. Your future looks bright. But, what about those next to you? The odds are one of the next four people you see will be a smoker.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported the number of smokers in the United States has stabilized. Now, with health related issues, stability is normally a good sign. But, with smoking, it's very bad news indeed.
The rate of U.S. smokers has stalled at over 20%. Think of that. Though we all know the hazards of smoking, one out of every five people continue to puff their lives away.
"Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the United States," said Dr. Terry Pechacek, Associate Director for Science in CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "The most effective way to reduce tobacco use is by fully implementing sustained comprehensive tobacco control programs that address initiation and cessation at the state and community level."
The stakes are high. Remember that 20% figure? It also represents the percentage deaths each year due to cigarette related diseases. The number of deaths caused by tobacco-related illness exceeds all deaths due to HIV, illegal drug and alcohol use, motor vehicle accidents, suicides, and murders combined.
What's to be done?
Join the revolution, of course! Get outside. Exercise. Breathe the fresh air. Most of all, change your life forever by finding a way to quit.To read more about the report, see this from Reuters. To read more about the health impact of smoking, and to find resources to help quit smoking, see this from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.