The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that smoking rates among U.S. adults have hit a record low.
According to the organization, smoking rates among U.S. adults are now at the lowest level they have been since the CDC began tracking the metric in 1965, with only 14% of U.S. adults now reported to be regular smokers in the year 2017, compared to 42% in 1965. The CDC largely credits anti-tobacco education for the decline, but appears to discount the effect of vapor products as a tobacco harm reduction strategy to which millions have switched and removed themselves from the ranks of smokers. The CDC further reports that approximately 47 million U.S. adults are still users of traditional cigarettes.
Winchester Medical Center’s Shalini Reddy commented:
“The minute that you think that you are going to quit smoking, that’s when the benefits start. Within a few hours of not smoking one cigarette, patients can start repairing themselves.”
Despite the decline in the use of combustible tobacco products, however, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent frets that the use of vapor products, which it persists in describing as tobacco products, continues. This continued insistence on an abstinence-only approach to nicotine, rather than a tobacco harm reduction approach, is a particularly curious one; the CDC surely possesses the data necessary to conclude that harm reduction has achieved in five years what the abstinence-only approach did not achieve in decades.
Curiouser still is that the CDC has previously admitted the role of vaping in declining rates of traditional tobacco use, only to continue to dismiss harm reduction now.