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U.S. adult smoking rate stalls at about 20% (9/13)

September 13, 2010
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Despite the known dangers of tobacco use, 1 in 5 American adults continues to smoke cigarettes, and 4 in 10 nonsmokers were exposed to cigarette smoke during 2007-2008, according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Among children between the ages of 3 and 11 years old, 54 percent were exposed to secondhand smoke. Nearly all (98 percent) children who live with a smoker are exposed and have measureable levels of toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke.

According to the report, the number of adult smokers dropped between 2000 and 2005, but smoking has remained at about 20-21 percent since 2005.

In 2009, more men (nearly 24 percent) than women (about 18 percent) smoked and about 31 percent of those living below poverty level smoked.

Less than 6 percent of adults with a graduate degree smoke compared to more than 25 percent of adults with no high school diploma.

Further, nearly 90 million non-smoking Americans are exposed to secondhand smoke and have measurable levels of toxic chemicals from cigarette smoke. Black non-smokers are one-third more likely than white smokers, and twice as likely as Mexican-American smokers, to have measurable exposure to tobacco.

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