Lowest Rate of Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Recorded

The rate of cigarette smoking among adults has decreased from 20.9% in 2005 to 17.8% in 2013, a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown. This is the lowest rate of adult smoking recorded since the start of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) tracking in 1965.

The report showed that the number of cigarette smokers dropped from 45.1 million to 42.1 million. Though the overall smoking rate has dropped, the report highlights the need to help those who continue to smoke. The highest prevalence of smoking was noted in the following groups:

  • Those below the poverty level;
  • Those who have less education;
  • Americans of multiple race;
  • American Indians/Alaska Natives;
  • Males;
  • Those residing in the South/Midwest;
  • Those with disability or limitation; and
  • Those who are lesbian/gay/bisexual.

Among current cigarette smokers, the percentage of those who smoke daily decreased from 80.8% (2005) to 76.9% (2013). Of the daily smokers, the average number of cigarettes smoked per day decreased from 16.7 (2005) to 14.2 (2013); the percentage of those who smoked <10 cigarettes per day increased from 16.4% (2005) to 23.3% (2013).

Tim McAfee, MD, MPH, the director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, believes that cigarette smoking rates can be reduced more effectively through funding of tobacco control programs at the CDC-recommended levels, increasing prices of tobacco products, implementing comprehensive smoke-free laws, and sustaining media campaigns.

For more information visit CDC.gov.

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