The statistics on tobacco-related mortality around the world is devastating. For instance, it is a known fact that tobacco is the probable cause of about 25 diseases thus having a massive impact on global disease (Chapman et al., 1018). It is estimated that there are around 1.1 billion cigarette smokers around the world. In the United States, cigarettes are the most commonly used form of tobacco contributing a significant portion of tobacco related diseases and deaths. Nevertheless, recent studies show that smoking rates in the country is steadily declining resulting in smaller population of adult smokers (Jamal et al., 54). These statistics suggests that in the future the actual number of cigarette smokers in the United States will be very low. This essay explores data and statistics that proves that cigarette smoking in the United States shall have fallen significantly in the next 20 to 30 years.
Analysis and discussion
Recent CDC statistics show that 38 million American adults smoke cigarettes on a daily basis. Though there are still millions of American cigarette smokers, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that the smoking rates among Americans had fallen significantly. Despite this significant decrease, at least 17 percent of Americans continue to smoke (Jamal et al., 55). However, the population of cigarette smokers has decreased from 20.9 percent to 15.5 percent since 2005. In line of this trend, the number of patients who were quitting smoking increased from 50.8 percent in 2005 to 59.0 percent in 2016 with the most progress noted in the age ranges of 25 to 44 years old (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also indicated that those who continue to smoke are smoking less on average than before (5). Though the number of people who smoked 20 to 29 cigarettes per day dropped considerably, those who smoked less than 10 cigarettes per day have increased significantly as shown in figure 1.
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Fig. 1: Declining trend of the number of those who smoke more than 30 cigarettes a day The decreasing trend in adult cigarette smoking is consistent with the data produced since 1965 as shown in figure 2.
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Fig. 1: Trend of cigarette smoking rates among American adults since 1948
Past studies suggest that in 1944, more than 41 percent of Americans were smokers. This figure remained steady for several decades even after the government declared cigarette to be a health hazard in the early 1960s. Though at the beginning of the 1970s 40 percent of adult Americans were smokers, the number dramatically fell to 36 percent in 1977 and by 1989 the smoking rate had fallen way below the 30 percent mark for the first time (Jamal et al., 55). However, in the 1990s and early 2000s, the smoking rate remained relative constant. Notably, the smoking rate did not rise during this period. In 2013, the smoking rates fell below 20 percent for the first time and dropping to only 16 percent in 2018. This trend show that in the last 40 years, the smoking rates among American adults have fallen from almost 40 percent to 16 percent (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6). It is also important to note that over this period, the country has not reported a significant rise in smoking rates. Moreover, the periods of stagnation in smoking rates did not go for more than 5 years since the 1970s before the rates begin to fall again.
When the trends shown in figure 2 are maintained then in the next 20 to 30 years, the number of cigarette smokers in the United States shall have declined to below 10 percent of the adult population. However, for these trends to be maintained more measures should taken aimed at reducing cigarette smokers especially among smoking groups who are not consistent with this trend (Chapman et al., 1021). For example, the NHIS data revealed that smoking rates remain relatively high among males aged between 25 and 64. Other population groups with high smoking rates include those with less education, multiracial Americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, distressed populations, those without health insurance, low income populations, homosexual communities, the disabled populations, and residents of the Midwest or Southern states. According to this data people in the Midwest smoke more on average than other Americans while people who were on Medicare were less likely to smoke than those in Medicaid. In addition with GED certificates were found to be eight times more likely to smoke than those with University degrees. In terms of gender, men smoked more than women while in terms of ethnicity, Asians smoked less than other ethnic groups in the United States (Chapman et al., 1022). This data therefore suggest that the number of cigarette smokers in the United States will be significantly low if the United States is able to address these demographic disparities in the coming years.
Nevertheless, breaking down the data into smaller age groups of adult smokers paints a bright future. For instance, only 10.4 percent of adults between 18 and 24 years are cigarette smokers compared to 16.5 percent of those between 45 and 64 years as shown in the chart in figure 3 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 7).
- Quote paper
- Difrine Madara (Author), 2018, Cigarette smoking to decline in the United States in 20 to 30 years, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/504363