Health Team

Smoking shows signs of decline

Posted March 15, 2011

Many smokers began the habit in their teens.

“My boyfriend smoked, so it was easier to kiss him (if I smoked too),” smoker Lynda Barbour said.

The majority of Jim Hooker’s family smoked, so he grew up with it.

Hooker has been smoking for 30 years, while Barbour kicked the habit 20 years ago. Their home state of California leads the nation in those who have quit and those who never started smoking.

“Over one-third of the population don't know a smoker (and)  have not seen a smoker in the last year,” said John P. Pierce, a professor at the University of California at San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center.

Researchers analyzed 42 years of government survey data and found that heavy pack-a-day smoking was down significantly nationwide, with the largest decrease in California.

“The large tobacco control program in California, which started in 1988, that had a major impact on smoking rates,” Pierce said.

The study, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows high cigarette taxes and enforcing smoke-free environments are stronger in California than in other states.

In 2007, less than 3 percent of Californians smoked a pack a day compared with 9.3 percent in North Carolina and 7 percent in the rest of the nation.

Study: Light smoking still carries severe health risks Smoking shows signs of decline

California also saw lung cancer rates drop to half the rates in the rest of the country.

The study also found that fewer young people were getting addicted to smoking in the first place.

Researchers say moderate to high-intensity smoking has declined significantly across all ages groups as well.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 22, 2011

    @Poke her face...

    First did you skate by the moderators with that moniker? ;-)

    Second, on average, a smoker DOES affect other people, in the form of increased healthcare costs to the state that are not covered by the average smoker. WRAL did a story that found that the EVERY PACK of cigarettes costs NC $5.60 in healthare costs. How many packs do people smoke in NC every day? Every year? And, we’re how deep in the financial hole?

    Add to this the fact that your smoke cloud is a Class A Carcinogen at the same level of Asbestos, Radon, Benzene, etc.

    Just these two factors demonstrate that YOUR smoking GREATLY affects everyone around you.

  • PanthersFan45 Mar 22, 2011

    Maybe it's declining because those that smoke don't like looking at pictures of what a smokers lung looks like. Or maybe they have decided they want to live longer. Taxes usually don't change a persons mind, they will still smoke, drink, etc ..... It's typically another factor that determines whether or not they quit.

  • Pack Fan 2014 Mar 21, 2011

    Honestly, the next step is legalization of marijuana and making fast food illegal. Honestly people, if I smoke, and make MY OWN DECISIONS that do not impact you, it should not be regulated by the government. Who cares if I smoke a cigarette, blunt, or even trip acid, as long as I don't hurt anyone else? People, INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY the GOVERNMENT need to mind their own business.

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Mar 21, 2011

    It's no surprise that higher cigarette tax rates decrease smoking. Well...maybe for it is for some...but they're probably the same people who think that smoking isn't deadly poison too. (shrug)

  • ncnativemom Mar 18, 2011

    In addition, I do not smoke in any restaurants or while sitting beside a nonsmoker anywhere. Nor in nonsmoker's homes or even in my own home or around my children. I go outside to my own personal porch. I do not throw cigs on the ground but carry a special pouch ashtray. My car ashtray is not used as I put my cigs in a half filled water bottle so I do not cause fires or litter. I am a very healthy person with no health issues unless you can find smoking to be the cause of the corns on my foot. So explain to me how my smoking hurts YOU. I am glad that fewer people are taking up smoking but does not the Declaration say that we have a right to happiness & right now smoking makes me happy so stop stepping on my rights!

  • ncnativemom Mar 18, 2011

    I'm a smoker of 35 years tho there have been times I've cut it down to 3 cigs a day. Yes, I'd like to quit. No, I refuse to take Chantix because of the possible side effects such as depression since it does work on the brains pleasure sensors. What makes me angry is that smokers are being forced to quit by a government who descriminates against us telling us you can't smoke here or there inside or outside or sometimes even in your own home. The governments constantly uses us as scapegoats by overtaxing & raising the price of a pack of cigs so much that an ordinary person like me can't even afford to smoke. Why not pick on someone else for a change like alcoholics & overeaters? Keep raising the price of beer, liquor & food so that they'll have to cut back as well. Don't you think alcohol causes health issues? People die every year from it. And overeating, the obese. Make fastfood too expensive to buy & force them to cut back as well. It should be a personal choice not a forced decision.

  • Z Man Mar 18, 2011

    me2you - I strive to be perfect and above everyone else like you!

  • BEACH Mar 17, 2011

    I quit 2 years ago after 35 years, just decided I needed to quit, Never knew how much it stinks. I live with a smoker and so glad I quit. Use Chantix anyone that wants to quit ,it works! However I think it should be a choice for anyone, govt or taxes should not make u quit. These obese people do not have the govt. telling them not to eat.

  • zippingz75 Mar 16, 2011

    @ me to you
    thank GOD if more people would realize how digusting obese people look at 300/350lbs.sitting in a resturant belching,burping and passing gas,how great it would be.

  • bigal02282 Mar 16, 2011

    I quit after over 30 years of smoking. Best thing I did. Unfortunately, I really didn't have much choice after having a heart attack and a triple bypass caused in large part by that 30 years of smoking. As a guideline, my father did not smoke, had coronary artery disease and required a quadruple bypass at age 76. I smoked heavily and my bypass occurred 23 years sooner than his (with the same family problem of coronary artery disease).