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Americans love their butts: one in five people still smokes cigarettes on a regular basis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and, after four decades of declining smoking rates, the rate’s been stable for the last five years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

And cigarettes aren’t just hurting smokers. Nearly all the kids who live with a smoker have toxic chemicals in their bloodstream that may put them at risk for cancer, heart disease and other illnesses, and more than half of all American children are exposed to poisonous second-hand smoke.

"If you smoke and have children, don’t kid yourself," said CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden at a news conference reported by the Los Angeles Times. "Your smoke is harming your children."

While many may think tobacco products marketed as not as harmful are less likely to sicken them, they’re equally hazardous, Frieden said. "All cigarettes kill equally, and we know that light and low-tar cigarettes are no less likely to kill you."

Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country, even though there’s been a reduction in smoking over the past 40 years. Some 446,000 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses annually. Of all the states, West Virginia and Kentucky have the highest smoking rates: about 26% of adults in those states smoke regularly. Utah has the lowest rate (10%) and California comes in second lowest (just below 13%).

Frieden says that if other states had similar cancer prevention programs to Utah’s and California’s, there would be 5 million fewer smokers in the nation. The tobacco industry has become more skilled at getting around efforts by the government to keep people from smoking. For instance, the industry targets price discounts to get kids to start smoking, and introduced flavored lozenges to circumvent the ban on flavored cigarettes.

The CDC study found that sex, race and educational level all affect whether a person smokes or not.

Some 24% of men smoke, versus 18% of women, and 31% of smokers live below the poverty level. Close to 50% of people with a GED and 25% of those who did not graduate from high school smoke, while only 6% of college graduates smoke.

nydailynews.com

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1 comments

Beauty Tips said... @ October 5, 2010 at 12:20 AM

Its More harmful to your lungs and its cusses a lungs cancer so take care.

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