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Axios Jun 16
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2 Americas: 40% with high-school diplomas smoke; 15% overall

Petros Karadjias / AP

The number of people who smoke has declined significantly over the years, but Americans who are less educated, live in rural areas, or are poor are still plagued by smoking, per a new report from the Washington Post .

  • Good news: "The national smoking rate has fallen to historic lows, with just 15 percent of adults still smoking."
  • Bad news: "But the socioeconomic gap has never been bigger. ... Among the nation's less-educated people — those with a high-school-equivalency diploma — the smoking rate remains more than 40 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
  • Two Americas: "Today, rural residents are diagnosed with lung cancer at rates 18 to 20 percent above those of city dwellers. By nearly every statistical measure, researchers say, America's lower class now smokes more and dies more from cigarettes than other Americans."