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Prevalence of heavy smokers in US decreases
Date:3/15/2011

rcent of smokers in California and 7.2 percent or 40 percent of smokers in the remaining United States.

The population prevalence of moderate-intensity smoking (10 or more cigarettes per day) in 1965 was 11.1 percent in California and 10.5 percent in the remaining United States; in 2007, the prevalence in California was 3.4 percent compared with 5.4 percent in the remaining United States.

"Among individuals (U.S. residents excluding California) born between 1920-1929, the prevalence of moderate/high-intensity smoking was 40.5 percent in 1965. Moderate/high-intensity smoking declined across successive birth cohorts, and for the 1970-1979 birth cohort, the highest rate of moderate/high-intensity smoking was 9.7 percent in California and 18.3 percent in the remaining United States. There was a marked decline in moderate/high-intensity smoking at older ages in all cohorts, but this was greater in California. By age 35 years, the prevalence of moderate/high-intensity smoking in the 1970-1979 birth cohort was 4.6 percent in California and 13.5 percent in the remaining United States," the authors write.

"The rapid decline in prevalence of 10 or more-cigarettes per day [CPD] smoking across birth cohorts in the mid-1960s is consistent with earlier reports of increased incidence of cessation that occurred following the dissemination of the early scientific reports that smoking caused cancer."

The researchers add that one of the reasons why the decline in moderate-intensity smoking has been greater in California than in the remaining United States is its comprehensive tobacco control programs.

The authors note that as expected, the large decline in the prevalence of pack-a-day smoking has been reflected in declines in lung cancer deaths in California and the U.S.

"In summary, over the past 40 years patterns of smoking have changed dramatically in the United States and reflect both reduced initiation and increased cessation
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Contact: Kim Edwards
kedwards@ucsd.edu
619-543-2707
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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