• Significant Drop in Numbers of Adults Who Smoke


    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The number of California adults who smoke declined
    42 percent from 1988 to 2009, according to the state health officials, who
    unveiled a series of anti-tobacco television advertisements today in Los
    Angeles.

    “I am proud of the tremendous progress that California has made during
    the past 20 years,’ Kimberly Belshe, secretary of the California Health and
    Human Services Agency, said. “But our job is not yet complete because nearly 4
    million Californians still smoke, and tobacco remains the number-one cause of
    preventable death and disease.’
    According to the state, the latest series of anti-tobacco ads are aimed
    at teaching people about the progress that has been made in convincing people
    to stop smoking, the importance of quitting smoking and the impact tobacco
    waste has on the environment.
    State officials said more than 100 million pounds of cigarette butts are
    discarded in the United States every year, and they are the most common trash
    item found on beaches and roadways. The ads will drive home the point that
    toxic chemicals in cigarettes are released into the environment when cigarette
    butts are thrown away, officials said.
    “California is proud, once again, to be a national leader in the fight
    against tobacco use and addiction, and is launching a new strategy — focusing
    attention on the degradation of the environment caused by discarded cigarette
    butts,’ according to Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of
    Public Health.
    State officials said smoking declined 42 percent among Asian/Pacific
    Islanders in California, and 41 percent among black and Latino adults over the
    past 20 years. They also noted that rates of lung cancer declined more than
    three times faster in California than the rest of the nation over that time
    period.

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