Smoking rates down this year, according to gov’t stats

(NEWS10) – The number of adults in the United States who smoke has declined by about 10% over the past 18 years. That’s according to new government statistics from the first half of this year.

The study found fewer than 15% of Americans currently smoke. That’s the lowest percentage since this survey began in 1997, when nearly a quarter of U.S. adults were smokers.

The study was released by the CDC’s National Center for health statistics. CDC researchers say the reduction is due to smoking bans, increasing costs of cigarettes, awareness campaigns, and improved access to tools that can help smokers kick the habit.

Health officials aim to see the percentage of individuals who smoke drop to 12% or less by the year 2020.

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