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U.S. Adult Cigarette Smoking Rate Rose in 2008

Blame it on the recession? Cigarette smoking among American adults had been on the decline for about 15 years, but in 2008 the smoking rate rose, bumping up slightly from 19.8 percent the previous year to just under 21 percent, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. –KA

AP via Google News:

The increase was so small, it could be just a blip, so health officials and experts say smoking prevalence is flat, not rising. But they are unhappy.

“Clearly, we’ve hit a wall in reducing adult smoking,” said Vince Willmore, spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a Washington, D.C.- based research and advocacy organization.

There’s a general perception that smoking is a fading public health danger. Feeding that perception are indoor smoking laws, cigarette taxes and Congress’ recent decision to allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco.

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