How Tobacco Smoking Affects People in the US
Studies have shown that tobacco use is the most common cause of many preventable diseases in the USA. The habit is known to cause various types of cancer as well as chronic diseases of different organs in the body such as the lungs, for example. Common conditions that are linked to tobacco use include emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease and others.
What populations are affected?
According to the American Lung Association, tobacco use is rampant among certain populations including Native Americans and Alaska natives. The subsets of Cuban-Americans and Puerto Ricans are also linked to a high tobacco smoking pattern. Some tobacco products are prevalent in certain populations in the USA - an example is menthol cigarettes that are more popular among the African-American population.
The tastes vary among different age groups, though. According to a recent study, the most commonly used tobacco product among African-American high school students were cigars which were used by 8.8 percent of the surveyed students. The electronic cigarette was popular among high school Hispanic students. According to the study 15.3 percent were using them.
Women and tobacco use
Smoking has been shown to pose a rather high risk of death and health complications among women. The number of annual deaths caused by tobacco use in the US is estimated to be 201,770. The rate of smoking among women of certain races is higher than others. For instance, the rate of smoking among Native American women in 2013 was 22 percent while the rate of smoking for white women stood at 17.8 percent. The same study found out that the smoking rate among Hispanic women was the lowest - 7 percent.
Another study revealed that the rate of smoking was higher among bisexual and lesbian as compared with heterosexual women. The smoking rate for lesbian and bisexual women in 2013 was 26.7 percent while the rate for the women identified as straight stood at 15.0 percent. The likely causes of this trend were cited to be social stigma and target marketing strategy by the tobacco industry.
80 percent of deaths due to lung cancer are as a result of tobacco smoking. In the year 2013, approximately 70,500 women died in the US due to lung and bronchus cancer. In fact, lung cancer even overtook breast cancer as the primary cause of cancer deaths among women in the US in 1987. Studies have also suggested that female smokers are more likely to succumb to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) when compared to women who do not use tobacco.
News on tobacco use
The New York Times reported on November 30, 2016 that the US government is planning to ban tobacco smoking in public housing residences to provide a safe environment to the residents. The ban is expected to take effect at the beginning of 2017. The greatest impact of this rule is expected to be felt in New York which has the largest public housing agency in the United States.