April 30, 2010 - More than 440,000 U.S. residents die annually from cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke, while 8.6 million are sickened by smoking, officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) said tobacco use is the single leading preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. Smoking costs $96 billion in medical costs annually in the United States and $97 billion in lost productivity annually, the report said.
Report: CDC Grand Rounds: Current Opportunities in Tobacco Control, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), April 30, 2010 / 59(16);487-492..
U.S. smoking rates among teens had been on the decline -- from 1997 smoking dropped from 36.4 percent to 21.9 percent in 2003 among high school students largely due to price increases because of taxes -- but remained relatively unchanged from 21.9 percent in 2003 to 20 percent in 2007.
Adult smoking prevalence dropped from 42.4 percent in 1966 but remained unchanged in 2004 at 20.9 percent to 20.6 percent in 2008, the report said.
"As of Dec. 31, 2009, cigarette excise taxes among all states ranged from $0.07 a pack in South Carolina to $3.46 a pack in Rhode Island, with a national mean of $1.34 per pack," the report said.
Although on December 31, 2009, a total of 21 U.S. states and DC had comprehensive smoke-free laws in effect that prohibit smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars, and other public places, about half of U.S. residents are not protected by comprehensive state or local smoke-free laws, and 12 states preempt local communities from passing smoke-free policies.
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Reference: CDC: U.S. smoking kills 440,000 a year, UPI.com, 4/30/2010.