Almost twenty percent of American adults smoke cigarettes, with more male smokers than female. There has been a steady decline in the percentage of US adults who smoke, however, since the 1960′s when the surgeon general declared that smoking was dangerous for health, and a cause of cancer. Even in the last 10 years, the incidence of smoking has continued its long, gradual decline.
The Midwest and parts of the South have the highest rates of smoking, while the states of Utah and California have the lowest rates. Smoking is associated with not only deaths due to cancer, but also heart disease and various respiratory diseases. Overall, smoking costs the US healthcare system almost $100 billion per year from lost health, hospital costs, and lost work productivity.
In total, one out of five deaths in the US can be attributed to the consequences of smoking. This is more than the number of people who die from AIDS, alcohol use, suicides and murder combined. Smoking is the leading cause of death in the United States that is preventable.
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