This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 13th (it will be out in January 2020), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

You can download an iPhone app for the 13th edition from the App Store (search for Weeks Population).

If you are a user of my textbook and would like to suggest a blog post idea, please email me at:

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Smoking Slowly Being Snuffed Out in US

Janet Lavelle of the San Diego Union-Tribune followed up today on a report just issued by the California Department of Public Health showing that the smoking rate has fallen to a record low in California. This is a very encouraging sign since smoking is one of the major "real" causes of death throughout the world.
The rate of adult smokers statewide dropped to a record low of 11.9 percent in 2010, making California and Utah the only states to reach a federal target to cut smoking rates to 12 percent by 2020.
Officials attributed at least some of the drop to California’s aggressive public anti-smoking campaign launched in the late 1980s. While the latest statistics are encouraging, health officials said smoking remains the leading preventable cause of disease and death, killing more than 400,000 Americans annually.
It is important to note that this overall drop is not just a result of the overall aging of the population. It is very importantly dropping in the teen years--the ages at which people are  most likely to get addicted to cigarettes.

Colleen Stevens, chief of the tobacco control media campaign for the state public health department, said the pattern in teen smoking could be related to the price of cigarettes.
Between 1997 and 2002, tobacco companies raised prices and the state levied a 50-cent tax per pack, she said. The price remained relatively unchanged until 2009, when the federal government instituted a 62-cent per pack tax.
Smoking rates in California have declined since 1985. The state’s anti-smoking education program began in earnest in 1989, shortly after voters approved a 25-cent tax on every cigarette pack in 1988. A nickel from each sale helps fund the California Tobacco Control Program, which includes a statewide media campaign, local educational and enforcement efforts, and programs to help smokers quit.
“Our feeling is that we have to simultaneously keep the environment and social norms such that teens and young adults don’t start smoking, while also helping those who smoke to stop,” she said.

No comments:

Post a Comment