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The Centers for Disease Control admits vaping is killing off smoking.

Data released by the Centers for Disease Control shows that after remaining stagnant for several years, smoking rates have decreased again since 2016.

CDC data demonstrate that between 2016 and 2017, smoking national smoking rates dropped from almost 16 percent in 2016 to just 13.9 percent in 2017. While much of the credit for the decline was attributed to years of anti-smoking messaging, the Centers for Disease Control finally gave vaping its due as a contributing factor in the smoking decrease.

The latest findings, from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics annual survey, reveals the smoking rate is higher, at roughly 22 percent, in rural areas than in cities with populations exceeding 1 million, where rates sit at roughly 11 percent. Still, public health experts say society is clearly turning their backs on cigarettes.

“Everything is pointed in the right direction,” said K. Michael Cummings, a tobacco researcher at Medical University of South Carolina, according to the Associated Press.

While the decline is positive news for public health, experts note that still means there are roughly 30 million Americans using combustible tobacco products. The American Cancer Society recently argued the use of harm reduction devices like a vape should be encouraged for smokers as a way to accelerate annual declines in the overall smoking rate.

A public health statement issued by the ACS June 11 notes combustible cigarettes account for roughly, “98 percent of all tobacco-related deaths.” The organization laments increasing false perceptions among the public regarding vapor products, saying, “it is critical that consumers receive accurate information” on the differences in risk between alternative smoking products and combustible tobacco.

“Many adults believe, erroneously, that electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) are as harmful as combustible tobacco products, and the level of public understanding has deteriorated over time,” the ACS said in its public health statement. “Thus, public misunderstanding underscores the urgent need for consumer education about the absolute and relative risks posed by different tobacco products and to reinvigorate smokers’ understanding of the importance of quitting combustible tobacco.”

Harm reduction advocates say instead of alarmism over the alleged threats posed by vapor products, users should be taught about the relative risks of those products when compared to smoking.

Article courtesy Vape News.