Despite the fact that Americans’ access to basic necessities, such as food, medicine, shelter, and healthcare has reached a four-year low of 81.2% this October, 21.1% of adult Americans continue to smoke, according to new data pertaining to adult Americans aged 18 or older from the October 2011 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. This marks the third month in a row that the percentage of Americans who smoke has reached 21%.
The results indicate the impact that smoking costs may be having on the nation’s healthcare system. Even as the average cost of healthcare is poised to continue to increase, 30% of Americans who have not had enough money to pay for healthcare and/or medicine in the past 12 months are smokers. The percentage of smokers is cut in half (14.2%) when it comes to the population that can afford to pay for healthcare and/or medicine in the past 12 months. Of the Americans without a personal doctor, 27.5% smoke.
October data also reveal that of the 20% of Americans that did not have enough money to buy food within the past 12 months, 34.9% are smokers. The percentage of Americans who smoke drops drastically down to 13.8% for those who can afford to buy food. The same pattern is observed when looking at those who did/did not have enough money to provide adequate shelter in the past 12 months.
— Source: Healthways