Snuff ’em out

There was good health news this week, among all the economic doom and gloom: The percentage of adults in the United States who smoke cigarettes has dropped below 20 percent for the first time since officials began keeping records on this.

In 1964, when the federal government began its anti-smoking campaign, 42 percent of U.S. adults smoked cigarettes.

Cutting that number by more than half has taken a long time, required a vigorous public-education campaign and new techniques to help smokers snuff out their cigarettes.

Even so, smoking-related diseases are still estimated to kill nearly a half million people a year. Let’s hope the decline in smoking continues and the habit is soon relegated to little more than an odd practice noted in history books.


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