Popular Tobacco Product Losing Love

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) - The CDC released its weekly morbidity and mortality report. In it: findings that show people nationwide are smoking less.

Cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. adults; but that may change soon, according to the report. It says the amount of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes is down from about 21 percent in 2005 to nearly 15 percent now.

"It's a nasty habit, but once you start, it's hard to quit it," one Fort Smith citizen told 5NEWS.

To add, a report from the U.S. National Library of Medicine concludes a big part of that is due to tax and price increases across the country.

"Yes, I've slowed down buying cigarettes," says Larry Lee Harrison, a Fort Smith citizen since the 70s, "I just buy about two packs a week."

Arkansas' cigarette tax sits at $1.15. To compare: the cheapest state is Missouri at 17 cents, and the most expensive is New York at $4.35.

"I used to buy five packs a week, sometimes seven packs a day," continued Harrison.

Others said they believe cigarette use will decrease even more with the legalization of medical marijuana in Arkansas.

Another Fort Smith citizen, Joshua Moorning said, "it's going to make (people) less stressed and you know, they're not dying from marijuana like (they're) dying from cancer."

That remains to be seen, but it does appear American policies geared toward controlling tobacco use are working. The CDC is happy with the decrease of smokers, but says more anti-tobacco action is still needed. It says nearly half of all cancer diagnosis are linked to tobacco use.