But 480,000 Per Year Still Die
The Centers for Disease Control's Office on Smoking and Health has issued a new report containing both good and bad news. The good news is that just 18 percent of Americans now smoke, a rate which is down from 21 percent ten years ago and is at its lowest level in nearly 50 years, since the CDC began compiling smoking statistics in 1965. The bad news is that this leaves the U.S. with over 42 million smokers, and more than 480,000 deaths due to smoking-related health problems each year, maintaining smoking’s position as our leading preventable cause of death due to heart disease, cancer, lung disease, stroke and other illnesses. And that number may grow, since the report notes that states have recently "cut and severely underfunded" their smoking prevention and cessation programs.