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Tobacco products ‘still used by 20% of American adults’

Around 49 million American adults were still using tobacco products in 2015, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products. 

The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report revealed one in five adults in the United States used tobacco products, with nearly ten million using two or more tobacco products. Cigarettes were the most popular tobacco product, used by 15.1 percent of respondents who used tobacco products. 

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death and disease in the United States, with smoking-related illnesses killing 480,000 Americans each year. According to the CDC, around 16 million Americans suffer from illnesses related to smoking. 

Following the publication of the report, Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, director of the CDC, stated: “Too many Americans are harmed by cigarette smoking, which is the nation’s leading preventable cause of death and disease.” She added that the CDC will continue to utilize “proven strategies” to help Americans quit smoking and to prevent the use of tobacco products by children.

A commonly used strategy for quitting smoking is nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which helps smokers cope with the nicotine withdrawal symptoms by satisfying the physiological need for nicotine and reducing the urge to smoke. Among the varieties of NRT types available over-the-counter are patches, gum, and lozenges. 

In some cases, prescription NRT options, such as inhalers and nasal sprays, may be more effective in helping reduce the urge to smoke. Other antismoking products include drugs such as Chantix (varenicline), which works by inhibiting the effect of nicotine on the brain and thus reducing the urge to smoke. The global market for smoking cessation drugs is expected to grow by nearly 15 percent in the next five years, according to the Global Smoking Cessation Drugs Market Forecast 2017-2027.

Smoking is associated with many different illnesses and medical conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

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