According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of cigarette smoking among the adult population in the United States has fallen from 21% in 2005 to 15% in 2015, a significant drop of 8.6 million cigarette smokers. This fall is expected to accelerate due to the tobacco tax recently passed in California. In 2009, the federal government increased taxes on tobacco by 62 cents a pack and on Election Day, California voters approved a tax of $2 a pack. The increase in tobacco tax regulates the number of smokers because most of them light up less or quit smoking when cigarette prices rocket up. Though the tax initiative won in California, tobacco control advocates lost similar efforts in North Dakota and Colorado while voters in Missouri rejected the tax.
The government is making efforts to reduce smoking rates to 12% in the adult population before 2020. Essentially, all their efforts are geared to reduce the occurrence of cancer cases and cancer deaths. In fact, tobacco is the major preventable cause of death in the U.S and is linked to 40% of all cancer cases, and 30% of cancer deaths. The government’s progress toward this goal is evident in the report by the National Health Interview Study indicating a recent drop of 1.7% between 2014 and 2015.
However, the higher tobacco tax does not necessarily mean lower smoking rates. The latest CDC’s report indicates that smoking rates are highest in the Midwest, where taxes are higher compared to the West where taxes are lower. Men and American Indian or Native Alaskans smoke more often than Asians and college degree holders.
Other than the higher federal taxation on cigarettes, several national stop-smoking campaigns like The Truth have been conducted. In addition, smoking-cessation programs have been made more accessible by the Affordable Care Act.
The recent decline in cigarette smoking has been boosted by the use of vaping devices. Anyway, e-cigarettes are not an effective solution because 60% of adult people using them also smoke the conventional cigarettes. Besides, electronic cigarettes they contain addictive nicotine too, that can lead to smoking.