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Cash-Strapped Adults Curb Smoking, Drinking

The current economic slump may have caused many of us to drop our gym memberships and made it more challenging for us to eat healthfully. But the impact on our health may not be all bad: According to a recent Pew survey, young adults are skimping on cigarettes and alcohol in light of their financial woes.

In the survey of 1,003 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center between April 2 and April 8, 39 percent of those ages 18 to 29 reported they'd cut spending on cigarettes and alcohol in response to the recession. Among those ages 30 to 49, 29 percent reported the same; 27 percent of those ages 50 to 64 and just 12 percent over age 65 had made those cuts.

Of course, cutting back on spending doesn't necessarily equal cutting back on smoking and drinking; could be some of those folks simply traded down from pricey gin to cheap beer, for instance. But that doesn't likely account for the whole trend.

Has the economy caused you to change your health habits -- for the better or the worse? Have you cut back on extras such as cigarettes, alcohol and snacks? Do you eat out less and cook more? Walk or run in the neighborhood instead of hitting the gym? Share your recession tales in the comments section -- and take a second to vote in today's poll.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  July 20, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Alcohol and Drugs , General Health  
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Someone who cuts back on alcohol just because of a bad economy isn't much of a drinker, if you ask me.

Posted by: tomtildrum | July 20, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Haven't cut back because I budgeted for the gym, don't smoke and drink very moderately; don't buy "expensive groceries" (is that like "designer" groceries or something? Or were you saying that milk maybe a necessity but soy mike isn't?--btw, I use soy milk; cheaper and more calcium). Also still go out on occasion no more or less then before; again it's budgeted.

I also not live in the DC area---so I could double everything and not pay what you are!

Posted by: mil1 | July 20, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

I wonder why the economy might make it more challenging to eat a healthy diet. It's been the opposite for me. I am a vegetarian, and to save money, I grow more of my own food (backyard garden--nothing fancy in it, just tomatoes, peppers, squash and the like) which I eat fresh, can, and freeze; buy dry beans instead of canned, and purchase from local farmers--less expensive than supermarkets, and helps support the local economy, too.

Posted by: kroshka | July 20, 2009 11:51 PM | Report abuse

We are going out less to dinner. While this is somewhat related to the economy it is more related to the difficulty in eating healthy in restaurants.

Posted by: YRahm | July 21, 2009 6:17 PM | Report abuse

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