More Americans kick smoking habit than ever before - WFSB 3 Connecticut

More Americans kick smoking habit than ever before

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)
(WFSB) -

The rate of smoking in the U.S. had its biggest decline in more than 20 years.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 480,000 people die each year in the U.S. from smoking-related illnesses.

The CDC's latest report, however, said that 15 percent of Americans were smokers in 2015. That's a 2 percent drop from the previous year.

It said 50 years ago, 42 percent of the country smoked. Back then, commercials even aired with doctors who recommended smoking.

Experts attribute the recent drop to cigarette taxes, smoking bans in restaurants and other public places and anti-smoking campaigns.

E-cigarettes have also increased in popularity. However, it's unclear if they will help or hurt.

Many teens have taken up e-cigarettes, and experts said it is possible that they could become future smokers. Even if they don't, e-cigarettes have their own dangers.

They are heated liquid nicotine. Health experts fear it creates a new way for people to get addicted.

Still, Americans in general have a much greater understanding of the correlation between cancer, according to the CDC.

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