Current Events & Trends: Smoking rates higher among poorer people

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Smoking rates higher among poorer people

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The New York Times recently highlighted the disparity between smoking rates in poorer and wealthier areas of the country—4 in 10 in poorer areas and 1 in 10 in wealthier areas. The data was compiled by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation and released in March of this year. "The national smoking rate has declined steadily, but there is a deep geographic divide [between pockets of affluence and impoverished areas of the country]" (Sabrina Tavernise and Robert Gebeloff, "In a New Divide, Smoking Is Becoming a Habit of the Poor," March 25, 2014).

As the poor smoke more they also suffer more of the health consequences—ultimately living shorter lives. The comment of a 51-year-old laborer sums up the trap of nicotine addiction. While many of his friends have died of lung cancer he continues to smoke but says, "I want to see my grandson grow up."

That dream alone should be enough for the man to stop smoking. You wish it could be the catalyst. People who live life on the edge see no further problem with puffing their life away on "smokes." A fatalistic view of life coupled with no hope for a better quality of life creates a vacuum. Cigarettes are often an attempt to fill that vacuum.

Education campaigns highlighting the health dangers of smoking help, but in the end for a person to quit smoking it often takes a health scare—their own or someone else's—to quit. But until you have a central purpose for living right in the center of your life, habits that destroy life will always be a crutch to fill the gap. Find your life's purpose and fill your life with meaning.

To learn more about this subject, read our article "Smoking and Health: The Often-Overlooked Key" (Source: The New York Times.)