A new study shows the rate of smoking among teens has fallen by huge amounts over the course of several generations.

The University of Michigan study shows 10% of teens may have lit a cigarette in the last month. But that number is at the lowest level since the survey began back in the mid 1970s.

Meanwhile, if you can manage to quit smoking by age 40, your body will heal most of the damage over time and mostly reduce the risk of early death. That's according to The New England Journal of Medicine. Smokers on average live a decade less than non-smokers. But quitting by 35 means you get that decade back.

There have been some questions about switching to e-cigarettes. The assumption is that e-cigarettes are much less dangerous than traditional cigarettes, but we don't yet know if that's true or not.

Finally, beginning next year, employers can surcharge you by up to 50% if you're a smoker and receive your health care at work. Some 20% of adults smoke and have much higher medical costs as a result. So employers will be able to penalize them starting in 2014. That could mean thousands in additional costs if you do get health care through an employer.
 

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Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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