HealthDay News — The prevalence of cigarette smoking was 15.5% in 2016, which was not significantly different from the 15.1% prevalence in 2015, according to research published in the January 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Ahmed Jamal, MBBS, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined progress toward the Healthy People 2020 target of reducing the proportion of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes to ≤12%. Data were obtained from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey. 

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The researchers found that the prevalence of current cigarette smoking was 15.5% among adults in 2016, which marked a significant decline from 20.9% in 2005; there was no significant change from 2015 (15.1%). Higher prevalence of cigarette smoking in 2016 was seen for males; those aged 25 to 64 years; American Indians/Alaska Natives or multiracials; those with a General Education Development certificate; those living below the federal poverty level; people living in the Midwest or South; those who were uninsured or had Medicaid; individuals who had a disability/limitation; those who were lesbian, gay, or bisexual; and those with serious psychological distress. There was an increase in the percentage of ever smokers who quit during 2005 to 2016, from 50.8 to 59%.

“Proven population-based interventions are critical to reducing the health and economic burden of smoking-related diseases among U.S. adults, particularly among subpopulations with the highest smoking prevalences,” the authors write.

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