(Access to Coverage of Tobacco Treatment In Our Nation)
Shaping Policies | Improving Health
October 25, 2011 First, the good news: The 46 million people (20.6 percent of all adults) who smoke in the U.S. are now outnumbered by former smokers. Between 1965 and 2004, smoking rates dropped by more than half, from 42.4 percent to 20.9 percent. About a month ago, New York City announced that just 14 out of 100 New Yorkers are still smoking. That’s a 35 percent decline, or approximately 450,000 fewer adult smokers since 2002. So obviously people want to and can quit smoking.
Yet while most people quit relatively easily and without smoking cessation therapies like nicotine replacement therapy or counseling, other smokers struggle for years, further compromising their health. Some former smokers say quitting is the hardest thing they have ever done. Clearly, when it comes to quitting, all smokers are not alike.
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