For all the talk about a deadly pandemic, political strife and opioid addiction — and all of those topics certainly merit a ton of discussion — there is one subject that probably doesn’t get talked about nearly enough these days: smoking.

According to the American Lung Association, tobacco causes more than 7 million deaths a year worldwide, including more than 480,000 deaths a year in the United States. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. In Delaware, 30.3 percent of cancer deaths are attributable to smoking.

Those are pretty stark numbers.

On the bright side, while the percentage of American adults 18 or older who smoke cigarettes is 13.7 percent, today’s high-school students only smoke at a rate of 6.2 percent. It is promising that as more information has become available, young people seem to be taking it to heart. That bodes well for the future.

As for the present, if you are a smoker and looking to quit, there are options. Go to lung.org for places to start or, in Delaware, try healthydelaware.org.

The best way to not be weakened by the ravages of smoking is by not starting — and it looks like our youth is taking that advice to heart. The second-best way to protect yourself is to quit smoking. Today. Right now.

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