CDC: Adult smoking rate holds steady

After dropping during 2000-2005, the number of adult smokers has remained steady at 20-21 percent, indicates new figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Smoking is more common among men (24 percent), people without high school diplomas (25 percent) and people living below the poverty line (31 percent), according to the report.

"Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of death in this country," said Thomas R. Frieden, director of CDC. "But progress is possible."

Statewide anti-smoking efforts in Maine, New York and Washington have resulted in 45-60 percent reductions in youth smoking. The report further noted that a 40 percent decrease in adult smoking in California caused the lung cancer rate in that state to drop more than 4 times faster than the national average.

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