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Adult smoking rate edges down slightly: CDC data

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Published : Sept. 8, 2011 - 12:26

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CHICAGO  (AP) _ Fewer U.S. adults are smoking and those who do light up are smoking fewer cigarettes each day, but the trend is weaker than the government had hoped.

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Tuesday, 19.3 percent of adults said they smoked last year, down from about 21 percent in 2005. The rate for smoking 30 or more cigarettes daily dropped to about 8 percent from almost 13 percent during the same time period.

The report only compared last year with 2005 and says the decline means 3 million fewer adults were smoking. The CDC earlier reported that the 2009 rate was 20.6 percent and rates fluctuated during the five-year period.

The five-year decline was much slower than a drop seen over the previous 40 years, said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Atlanta-based agency. He said any decline is a good step, but also said tobacco use remains a significant health burden.

``About half of all smokers will be killed by tobacco if they don't quit,'' Frieden said during a news briefing.

``You don't have to be a heavy smoker or a long-time smoker to get a smoking-related disease or have a heart attack or asthma attack,'' Frieden said. ``The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner your body can begin to heal.''

The 2010 numbers are based partly on face-to-face interviews with almost 27,000 Americans aged 18 and older.

Increases in federal and state taxes on cigarettes and new clean air laws are among reasons for the drop, said Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC's office on smoking and health.

Those positive trends have been offset by efforts from the tobacco industry, including offering discounts to consumers, McAfee said.

If the slowed rate of decline continues, adult smoking rates will reach 17 percent by 2020, far higher than the government's goal of no more than 12 percent, the CDC report said.

Government efforts to further reduce smoking rates include proposed graphic cigarette packaging labels, which are being challenged in court by the tobacco industry.

Frieden said evidence from states with strong anti-smoking programs show that tobacco control can be effective. Rates are far below the national average in states with the strongest tobacco control programs, he noted. States with the lowest rates are Utah, at 9 percent, and California, 12 percent, the CDC report found.

In a statement, American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said the report shows some successes but also continued disparities. Smoking was most common among low-income, less educated adults and among American Indians and Alaska natives.

Matthew Meyers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington-based advocacy group, said in a statement that it's too soon to declare victory when nearly one in five adults still smokes.

 

<한글 기사>

"美 흡연인구 감소…흡연자도 덜 피워"

미국에서 18세 이상 성인 가운데 흡연인구가 감소하고 있으며 담배를 계속 피우는 사람도 흡연량을 줄이는 경향이라고 국립질병통제예방센 터(CDC)가 6일 발표했다.

CDC는 2005~2010년 자료를 분석한 결과, 성인 가운데 흡연인구는 4천530만명(19 .3%)로 집계됐는데 이는 2005년보다 흡연인구가 약 300만명 감소한 것이라고 해석했 다.

이와 함께 흡연자 가운데 하루 30개비 이상 피우는 사람의 비율은 12.7%에서 8.

3%로 낮아졌고 하루 9개비 이하 흡연자 비율은 16.4%에서 21.8%로 높아졌다.

지역별로는 웨스트버지니아와 켄터키 주에서 성인의 4분의 1이 담배를 피우는 반면, 유타와 캘리포니아 주에서는 흡연율이 각각 9.1%, 12.1%에 머물렀다.

남녀별로는 남성의 21.5%, 여성의 17.3%가 담배를 피우는 것으로 집계됐으며 빈곤층 인구의 28.9%가 흡연자로 분류됐다.

CDC 관계자들은 꾸준한 금연캠페인과 함께 50개 주 가운데 절반에서 시행되고 있는 실내금연' 정책이 흡연인구 감소에 크게 기여한 것으로 분석했다.

미국에서 직간접 흡연에 의한 질환으로 사망하는 사람은 연간 44만3천명에 이르는 것으로 추산되고 있다.

한편, 1960년대부터 흡연인구 감소 정책을 전개해 온 미 정부는 오는 2020년까 지 흡연인구 비율을 12% 밑으로 끌어내린다는 목표를 세워놓고 있다.