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CDC: Cigarette-smoking declined among Americans, cigar use up

Though cigarette use declined sharply, there is an increasing contingent switching to cigars and pipes to get their tobacco fix.

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A CDC report found that people are smoking less cigarettes but more cigars. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

A new report by the CDC says that Americans are smoking less cigarettes.

Though cigarette use declined sharply, there is an increasing contingent switching to cigars and pipes to get their tobacco fix.

Fox News reported that price is likely the main factor in the decreasing levels of cigarette-smoking and increasing use of other forms of tobacco.

Cigarettes declined by 2.5 percent from 2010.

Yet, pipe-smoking was up 482 percent in the same period and large cigars up 223 percent, reported the Baltimore Sun.

Things are getting better, however.

USA Today said that overall tobacco consumption in the last decade declined by nearly 30 percent.

Cost is a major factor, as cigarette prices have skyrocketed in the last decade.

A federal tax on cigarettes increased to $1.01 a pack between 2008 and 2011, a period that saw the greatest drop in tobacco use.

Interestingly, the rise in cigar-smoking, often thought to be expensive commodities, has likely been due to a tax loophole that makes small, yet heavy, cigars cheaper despite them looking and tasting like cigarettes.

"What we have seen is the steady progress in reducing the consumption of the most dangerous forms of tobacco, which are inhaled combustible products, stalled because there had been a substitute of roll-your-own and cigarette-like cigars that have increased in recent years due to loopholes in the tax structure," said Terry Pechacek, associate director for science in the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health, reported HealthDay.

Researchers warn that younger people are also switching to smoke-less products like chewing tobacco or pellets.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/health/120804/cdc-cigarette-smoking-declined-among-americans-cigar-use