A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that “cigarette smoking among adult Americans dropped to a historic low in 2015.” Why is that important to us when the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educator on-line course is designed for teaching tobacco prevention lessons to students? Preventing youth and teens from starting smoking means fewer adults smoking in the future.
The current rate stands at 15.1 percent, down from 16.8 percent just two years ago. When broken out between males and females, “about 16.7 percent of adult men smoke traditional cigarettes, compared with 13.6 percent of women.” The group with the highest number of smokers are males between the ages of 18 and 44. If you break the numbers down by race, white males smoke the most at 17.4 percent, followed by blacks at 16.8 percent and Hispanics at 9.9 percent.
Anti-smoking advocates suggest falling smoking rates have been attributed to “higher cigarette excise taxes, anti-smoking campaigns, higher retail prices, socioeconomic shifts,” as well as stricter smoking bans prohibiting indoor smoking. Those in favor of electronic cigarettes and vaporizers, as well as hookahs, suggest their popularity has helped the downward turn of traditional tobacco. The U.K. Royal College of Physicians have gone on record stating electronic cigarettes and vaporizers could be up to 95 percent less harmful to smokers, while the “CDC and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have found there is not enough evidence to conclude whether e-cigarettes are a safe and effective smoking cessation device.”
You would think with these falling numbers we would see concern from the tobacco industry of the possibility of them going out of business, but unfortunately that is not the case. The top three companies “continue to show quarterly and annual revenue gains” despite falling numbers.
“The Healthy People 2020 initiative has set a goal of reducing the adult smoking rate to at least 12 percent.” If statewide tobacco prevention programs, such as the Florida Tobacco Prevention Training for Educators, continue to reach youth and teens so they can learn to make informed decisions about tobacco use, the future goal of a lower number of adult smokers is well within reach.
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