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CDC Reports Drop in Adult Smoking, But Death Toll and Health Costs Are Still Growing; Congress, States Should Implement Proven Solutions
Date:11/13/2008

WASHINGTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080918/CFTFKLOGO)

Two new reports released today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that the adult smoking rate in the United States has declined to under 20 percent for the first time, but smoking rates are not declining fast enough to reduce tobacco's growing toll in lives and health care costs. These reports confirm that we know how to reduce tobacco use, but elected officials at all levels must resist complacency and step up the fight against the nation's number one cause of preventable death. It is especially critical that the incoming Administration and Congress provide long-missing national leadership by enacting legislation granting the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products.

The good news from the first CDC report is that the adult smoking rate declined to 19.8 percent in 2007 from 20.8 percent in 2006. This is the first statistically significant one-year decline in adult smoking since 2003, but it still leaves the nation far short of achieving the U.S. Surgeon General's national goal of reducing adult smoking to 12 percent or less by 2010.

The bad news from the second CDC report is that smoking rates are not declining fast enough to reduce the devastating health and financial toll of smoking in the United States. This report, which updates official government statistics regarding the toll of cigarette smoking, found that from 2000 to 2004, at least 443,000 people in the U.S. died prematurely each year as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, an increase from 438,000 deaths annually for 1997-2001. This report also found that smoking costs the nation $193 billion per year in health c
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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