WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Nearly 21 percent of Americans smoke, a number that has been stalled since 2004, federal researchers reported on Thursday in a study they said means governments must spend more to persuade people to kick the habit.
More than 45 million Americans smoked in 2006, or 20.8 percent of the population, 80 percent of them daily smokers, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The CDC said the numbers have not changed since 2004, which suggests that smoking prevention efforts have "stalled."
"It is completely commensurate with the stall in resources that been going into tobacco control," Dr. Matt McKenna, who directs CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, said in a telephone interview.
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