The centers For Disease Control and Prevention [CD} has released their figures on smoking in the US. One fact that continues to surprise me is that the poor, especially those in the mid-west and south continue their smoking habit at an alarming rate. With taxes on cigarettes being high and the obvious health risks of continued smoking, it is hard to understand how these people can continue their deadly habit and addiction.

According to a recent CDC press release it states the following:

Results: In 2009, 20.6% of U.S. adults aged ≥18 years were current cigarette smokers. Men (23.5%) were more likely than women (17.9%) to be current smokers. The prevalence of smoking was 31.1% among persons below the federal poverty level. For adults aged ≥25 years, the prevalence of smoking was 28.5% among persons with less than a high school diploma, compared with 5.6% among those with a graduate degree. Regional differences were observed, with the West having the lowest prevalence (16.4%) and higher prevalences being observed in the South (21.8%) and Midwest (23.1%). From 2005 to 2009, the proportion of U.S. adults who were current cigarette smokers did not change (20.9% in 2005 and 20.6% in 2009).

Conclusions: Previous declines in smoking prevalence in the United States have stalled during the past 5 years; the burden of cigarette smoking continues to be high, especially in persons living below the federal poverty level and with low educational attainment. Sustained, adequately funded, comprehensive tobacco control programs could reduce adult smoking.

My wife volunteers at our local food pantry. During this past year the number of people who have applied for assistance has increased by about 30%. What is annoying to be is to watch people picking up free food while a cigarette hangs out of their mouth. My feeling is if you can afford to smoke you can afford to buy food for your family.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – CDC