3 Million Fewer People Smoked Last Year Than In 2009, USA TODAY Report Shows

6:13 AM, Sep 11, 2012   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- In the war on smoking, the silver bullet is all about money. A giant federal tobacco tax hike has spurred a historic drop in smoking. This number is particularly true for teenagers.

Our partners at USA Today report that about 3 million fewer people smoked last year than in 2009 despite a larger population. The tax lifted prices 22 percent. That hit families making less than $50,000 a year the hardest. They account for two-thirds of smokers.

Teen smoking immediately fell by up to 13 percent.

Other factors at work were health concerns, smoke-free buildings, marketing restrictions and higher prices from the tobacco companies.