One of my best friends is a smoker.  I'll be honest with you.  I hate it.  Not just that my friend smokes, but I hate that people smoke in general.

I hate the smell of it.  I hate how it can ruin "clean air" when you're outside.  I hate how smokers think the world is their ashtray; tossing butts out the window of their car, on the sidewalk, on the grass, etc.

Most of all, I hate the idea that my best friend is killing himself. But maybe there's hope.

A new study found that the number of smokers is declining; especially teens, lower class and welfare recipients.  The reason?  Higher taxes.

President Obama signed into law a large increase in the federal cigarette tax; up from $0.39 to $1.01 per pack.  That increase was supposed to help further the development and growth of children’s health care.  But it also forced a lot of people to give up smoking...

Reports from the CDC indicate that the federal tax increase is responsible for the highest reduction of tobacco use in recorded history – down nearly 19 percent in 2011.

  • Two-thirds of American smokers in families making under $50,000 felt the impact the most.
  • Teen smokers dropped by about 13 percent when the tax hike took effect.
  • Hispanics and senior citizens had the most drastic decline in tobacco use – down more than 15 percent from 2008.
  • More women quit than men.
  • Middle-aged men were barely affected – down just 1.2 percent.
  • Approximately 1 million adult Medicaid subscribers quit smoking.