Smoking Decline - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

11/11/05 - Lufkin

Smoking Decline

by Jessica Cervantez

It is only a slight decline from previous years. But, last year only 20.9% of Americans said they were smokers.

Holly Randall, social work oncologist, said, "It's because of the some of the community education. We are in the community more targeting younger kids."

High cigarette taxes and work-place smoke bans are also contributing to the decline. But, health officials say kids are now beginning to smoke even younger, at the junior high age. So while smoking rates are declining, there is still a long way to go.

Randall said, "The ones who already started smoking by their late twenties, it's hard for them to stop."

People who smoke are more likely to develop diseases like lung cancer, and the number of people who die from lung cancer can be shocking. Almost 12,000 Texans will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and Randall says that 90% of them will die.

Doctors know trying to quit smoking is often difficult, which is why it is better to never start in the first place.

Next Thursday, is the Great American Smoke-out. Smokers are being asked to quit smoking for that day.

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