CDC: Fewer Americans are smoking

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - According to the CDC, 18 percent of Americans smoke. That's down from the 21 percent that was reported over the past seven years.

"Were seeing a lot of younger patients come in with heart disease now and I think that's an eye opener for a lot of people," said NEA Baptist nurse Christy Robertson.

Smoking rates have declined steadily for decades. With smoking restrictions and rising taxes on tobacco products, the result of fewer smokers can be due to a number of things. However, Robertson said it's when people start to see the nicotine affect their health that pushes them to kick the habit.

"When they're hospitalized on more than one occasion," said Robertson. "Once they see that it's actually affecting their health that's when they get serious about it."

She's seen patients quit through their smoking cessation, "Stamp out smoking". It's a program that helps guide those who want to quit and to succeed.

"They help with the supplies," said Robertson. "They also give them a councilor that can give tips in the process in quitting smoking."

Robertson said some people have a harder time wanting to break the habit.

"We have the older generation who has a long history of smoking and it scares them to have to want to quit," said Robertson.

Not only does quitting benefit your health but depending on how heavy of a smoker, a person can spend up to $3,000 a year just on a pack of cigarettes.

"Think of the money you can save with not buying a pack of cigarettes or however many you smoke a day," said Robertson. "It's a very expensive habit."

"Robertson said patients who have quit for good have seen many changes in their over all health and well being.

"After several years of being sick they actually feel better once they have the nicotine out of their body," said Robertson.

If you would like to quit, click here.

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