The research regarding cigarette use was released in the August issue of Morbidity and Mortality Report. The report states that Americans have decreased their cigarette use by 32.8 percent over the last 12 years. This news is fantastic as the numbers show a constant decline in smoking, giving hope that people are finally letting go of such a harmful habit.
The celebration is cut short, though, when all of the facts regarding tobacco are revealed. While cigarette smoking has decreased, a constant increase in other forms of combustible tobacco use has taken place. During the same 12-year period, the use of pipe tobacco and cigars have seen a 96.9 percent increase.
It seems fair to assume that tax laws were the reason for this shift. The taxes on pipe tobacco and cigars are lower than the rates on cigarettes. It doesn’t seem like anyone really quit smoking, they just switched their products to save money.
If we’re looking at numbers and statistics, it’s wise to note that the American Cancer Society has seen a constant rise in numbers, too. The 2021 statistics show that there have been 226,160 cases of lung cancer and 160,340 deaths from lung cancer. Tobacco use is responsible for 80 percent of lung cancer deaths. Clearly, there’s been no decline in tobacco use.
This news is depressing. With the death rates so high, it’s hard to understand why someone would keep up the habit of tobacco. Users are smart enough to get the best value for their money, but still not wise enough to quit.
The resources available for those wanting to quit are plentiful, and many are even free. Smokefree.gov is a great site to start the journey out of tobacco use. The organization was created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute, and is dedicated to seeing smokers quit for good.
So if you’re still smoking, please reach out for help and give us all a real reason to celebrate.