Also, the U.S

«It’s habit,» said Toefer, a 23-year-old Georgia State University student. «Above and beyond the chemical addiction, there’s certain times when it just clicks: ‘I want a cigarette right now.’»

While smoking has declined among most adults in the 1990s, an increasing number of 18-to-24 year olds are picking up the habit, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

As a result, smoking among adults has held steady overall at about 25 percent throughout the 1990s, leveling off after a quarter century of reductions.

Now the CDC expects to fall far short of its goal of reducing smoking to 15 percent of the adult population by 2000.

«It’s really shown that we are stuck as a nation in trying to reduce adult smoking,» said Michael Eriksen, director of the CDC Office of Smoking and Health. «We need to come up with strategies to kickstart reductions once again.»

About 48 million adults smoked cigarettes in 1997, according to a CDC survey that year of more than 35,000 people nationwide. The rate was the same — 24.7 percent — in 1995. It was 25.5 percent in 1990.

Among most adult age groups, 사천출장마사지 smoking rates actually declined from 1990 to 1997, but the percentage of smokers ages 18 to 24 increased during that period, from 24.5 percent to 28.7 percent.

U.S. smoking rates have dropped drastically since 1965, when 44 percent of adults were lighting up. Over the following quarter-century, more health warnings came out, tobacco ads were banned from the airwaves and no-smoking signs appeared in restaurants, offices and airplanes.

However, smoking rates leveled off during the 1990s rather than continuing to drop.

At the same time, public awareness campaigns have continued to warn of the dangers of smoking, and habit-breaking patches and nicotine gum have come on the market.

«The bottom line on this is it just speaks to how tough it is to quit and how addictive tobacco is,» Eriksen said.

Anti-smoking advocates said the popularity of cigarettes among young adults is troubling, but it is also the group where further reductions are most likely to occur.

«We’re all pretty much agreed that the efforts to prevent youth from smoking, or getting those who have just begun to experiment to put it away, is where we’re going to get success,» said Joann Schellenbach, spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society.

Health officials anticipate a drop in smoking rates in 1999 because cigarette makers raised their prices after their $206 billion legal settlement with 46 states that sued to recoup the costs of treating sick smokers.

Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says per capita cigarette consumption declined 15 percent between 1990 and 1997.

Written by Russ Bynum


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