WASHINGTON, Nov. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids:
New reports issued today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) underscore the enormous progress the United States has made in reducing smoking, but also show that tobacco use is still a huge problem that drives some of the biggest health challenges facing our country, including cancer and health disparities. The good news is that the U.S. has cut the adult smoking rate by 28 percent in the past decade, from 20.9 percent in 2005 to a record-low 15.1 percent in 2015. This means there are 8.6 million fewer smokers in the U.S. (a drop from 45.1 million in 2005 to 36.5 million in 2015). The smoking rate has fallen by 64 percent since the CDC's first survey in 1965, when 42.4 percent smoked. This is a remarkable public health success story that shows we can win the fight against tobacco by fully implementing the proven solutions that have driven this progress. However, tobacco use continues to take a tremendous toll on our nation's health. The CDC reports that smoking causes three in ten cancer deaths and tobacco use is linked to 40 percent of all cancers diagnosed in the U.S. Smoking causes more than a dozen forms of cancer throughout the body. Of the 36.5 million Americans who still smoke, about half will die prematurely from a tobacco-related disease, including six million from cancer, unless we do more to help them quit. The report also shows that smoking declines have had a big role in reducing cancer deaths since 1990, when cancer deaths peaked among males. Since 1990, about 1.3 million tobacco-related cancer deaths have been prevented. About 60 percent of the decrease in all cancer deaths among men and 40 percent of the decrease among women are due to declines in tobacco-related cancers.