Smoking On The Decline
Study finds smokers are cutting back; fewer are taking up habit.
Fewer Americans are lighting up.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control finds that between 2005 and 2010 smoking went down from 20.9 percent to 19.3 percent.
Dr. Tim McAfee is the director of the CDC's office on Smoking and Health.
He says the decrease is better than he'd expected, but wasn't as fast a decline as seen in previous years.
"Although we've been successful in the last 40 years in cutting smoking in half, we really don't want to wait another 40 years to get down to the point where smoking is just a minor public health nuisance," he says.
The report also finds that the majority of smokers aren't having as many cigarettes a day as they used to.
Doctors say cutting back is good, but as far as far as their long-term health risks are concerned, quitting is preferred.
The CDC attributes the decline in part to higher tobacco prices, graphic warning labels on packs of cigarettes and state laws that ban indoor smoking.
An estimated 443,000 Americans die each year from smoking and second-hand smoking related diseases.