Smoking Declines Across the U.S.

According to a new government report, fewer American adults smoke cigarettes today than three years ago.

The report, by the Center for Disease Control, provides information that 19 percent of U.S. adults now smoke, compared to 21 percent in 2009.

Smokers are also smoking less than those who smoked in 2009, the report indicates.

Dr. Tom Friedman, CDC director, said although the country’s health standard is improving where cigarettes are concerned, much work still needs to be done.

"Any decline in the number of people who smoke and the number of cigarettes consumed is a step in the right direction," Frieden said, according to CBS. "However, tobacco use remains a significant health burden for the people of United States."

Although the CDC report shows that adults smoking 30 or more cigarettes each day has decreased over the years, those smoking nine or less cigarettes increased from 16.4 percent to 22 percent last year.

Friedman said some may have misconceptions about smoking, thinking that individuals are immune to smoke related diseases if they have not been smoking for a long period of time.

"You don't have to be a heavy smoker or a long-time smoker to get a smoking-related disease or have a heart attack or asthma attack," Frieden said, according to CBS. "The sooner you quit smoking, the sooner your body can begin to heal."

Dr. Tim McAfee, director of the CDC office on smoking and health, said that although some improvements have been made, aggressive action needs to be taken to cut down on smoking.

"This slowing trend shows the need for intensified efforts to reduce cigarette smoking among adults," McAfee said, according to CBS reports. "We know what works: higher tobacco prices, hard-hitting media campaigns, graphic health warnings on cigarette packs, and 100 percent smoke-free policies, with easily accessible help for those who want to quit."