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America's blue-collar smoking trend: By the numbers 
After years of interviewing Americans, the CDC finds that the nation's smokers are most likely to be young, poor, white — and working blue-collar jobs
 
Construction workers take a cigarette break: Construction, food service, and mining are the three industries with the highest smoking rates in America, according to a CDC study.
Construction workers take a cigarette break: Construction, food service, and mining are the three industries with the highest smoking rates in America, according to a CDC study.
Mark Tenally /Demotix/Demotix/Corbis

Miners and food service workers have something in common: They both like to smoke. Teachers and business professionals, however, are among America's least likely smokers. Welcome to the new "collar-color divide," says John Gever at ABC, in which white-collar workers are much less likely to smoke than their blue-collar counterparts. Those are among the findings in a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which from 2004 to 2010 interviewed more than 113,000 Americans about smoking. Here, a look at more of the conclusions, by the numbers:

19.3
Percentage of U.S. adults who smoked regularly in 2010, according to the CDC 

20.9
Percentage of U.S. adults who smoked regularly in 2005

$193 billion
Annual cost associated with lost productivity and health care for smoking-related illnesses, according to Reuters

30
Percentage of mining workers who smoke. The industry sits atop the CDC's rankings. And remember, says Gever, workers are "already at risk for respiratory diseases because of their occupational exposures." 

30
Percentage of food service workers who smoke — tied with miners atop the CDC's list

29.7
Percentage of construction workers who smoke

9.7
Percentage of education workers who smoke — the lowest number on the CDC list

10.9
Percentage of business management workers who smoke

13.9
Percentage of finance and insurance workers who smoke

15.9
Percentage of "health care and social assistance" workers who smoke

28.4
Percentage of Americans with no high school diploma who smoke

9.1
Percentage of Americans with a bachelor, master, or other graduate degree who smoke

21.5
Percentage of white Americans who smoke — the highest rate of any ethnic group

17.9
Percentage of black Americans who smoke

23.8
Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who smoke — the highest rate of any age group

10.2
Percentage of those 65 and older who smoke — the lowest rate of any age group. In our "post-Mad Men world," Gever says, higher smoking rates are associated with "being poor or near-poor, uninsured, white, young, and male."

443,000
The number of deaths caused from cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco from 2000 to 2004

42.4
Percentage decrease of adult smokers in the U.S. since 1965

Sources: ABC NewsBoston Globe, CDCChicago Sun-Times, Medical News TodayReuters, TIME

 

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