The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new data indicating a record low in adult cigarette smoking rates in the United States. According to the survey data, only one in nine adults currently smoke traditional cigarettes, and the rate has been gradually declining for decades. While this news is promising, the CDC also reports an increase in the use of electronic cigarettes, with about one in 17 adults currently using e-cigarettes.
Cigarette smoking is a leading cause of preventable death and a risk factor for various health conditions, including lung cancer, heart disease, and stroke. The decline in smoking rates is due to a combination of factors, including cigarette taxes, smoking bans, and shifts in public attitudes towards smoking. However, the rise in e-cigarette use is a cause for concern, according to Dr. Jonathan Samet, the dean of the Colorado School of Public Health.
Nicotine addiction carries health implications such as high blood pressure and artery narrowing, as reported by the American Heart Association. Dr. Samet, who has been contributing to US Surgeon General reports on smoking and health for almost four decades, warns that the prevalence of nicotine addiction may not necessarily drop due to the rise of electronic products.
While smoking rates among adults are decreasing, the CDC’s data shows that e-cigarette use continues to rise, with almost 6% of adults using e-cigarettes in 2021, up from about 4.5% the year before. The rates of smoking and vaping among teenagers are almost reversed, with about 2% of high school students smoking traditional cigarettes but roughly 14% using e-cigarettes, according to other CDC data.
In conclusion, while the decline in adult cigarette smoking rates is a positive development, the rise in e-cigarette use is a cause for concern, especially among teenagers. The CDC’s data underscores the need for continued public health efforts to prevent nicotine addiction and the related health risks.