About 4 of every 10 adults with emphysema - a serious, often fatal disease associated with smoking - said that they still smoked when surveyed by HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

They weren't alone. Americans with other serious illnesses also hadn't kicked the habit when surveyed. These included:

-- Asthma sufferers - 23.4 percent

-- Stroke victims - 23.4 percent

-- People with high blood pressure - 17.4 percent

-- People with cardiovascular problems - 17.1 percent

-- People with diabetes - 16.9 percent

These data are from 2004 data from AHRQ's Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which collects information each year from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households about health care use, expenses, access, health status and quality. MEPS is a unique government survey because of the degree of detail in its data, as well as its ability to link data on health services spending and health insurance to demographic, employment, economic, health status, and other characteristics of individuals and families.


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