U.S. smoking rates are declining, according to data presented by the Centers for Disease Control, but vulnerable demographics are still smoking at relatively high rates. According to the CDC, the adult smoking rate is now 16.8% -down from 20.9% in 2005 and 17.8% in 2013. However, not all groups saw such steep declines. For example, adults on Medicaid or those without health insurance smoke at more than twice the rate of adults on Medicare or private insurance. 43% of adults with a GED were smokers, compared to 5% with a university degree. Those living below the poverty line smoke at a rate of 26.3%. The report also found that 18.8% of men smoke, compared to 14.8% of women.
“Disparities are the single most important issue in smoking,” Kenneth Warner, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, told the New York Times. “The people who are politically influential believe the smoking problem has been solved. It’s not in their neighborhoods. Their friends don’t smoke. Those who still smoke are the poor, the disenfranchised, the mentally ill. That’s who we need to focus on.”
The decline in smoking and waning public regard for second-hand smoke may soon manifest itself in government policy. Federal authorities have proposed a ban on smoking in public housing that, if implemented, would affect more than 700,000 households. In its proposed rule, the Department of Housing and Urban Development would require more than 3,100 public housing agencies to go smoke-free within several years. The agencies must design policies prohibiting lit tobacco products in all living areas, common indoor areas, administrative spaces, and outdoor areas near housing and administrative office buildings, said HUD officials.
Cigarette smoking still kills 480,000 Americans each year, making it the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Officials primarily cited this health data in justifying the proposed public housing smoking ban, noting especially the risks to children and the elderly people who live in more than 500,000 public housing units.
If you suffer from lung disease and still smoke, the best thing you can do for your health is to kick the habit. If you have been off tobacco for awhile and are looking for treatment options for lung disease, perhaps cellular therapy is the option you seek. Contact us, or call 888-745-6697 to find out if you qualify for treatment at the Lung Health Institute.