US Smoking Rate Reaches All-Time Low

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Smoking bans, increased prices, and a lack of social acceptability are among reasons for the decline in traditional tobacco use.

HealthDay News — Fewer US adults are smoking cigarettes, as rates dropped again last year, according to federal health officials.

In all, 1 in 9 American adults smoked cigarettes last year, an all-time low and a significant change from the 1960s when 42% smoked. The results were not all positive, the Associated Press reported, as vaping rose to about one in 17 adults. For 2022, use of electronic cigarettes was about 6% compared with 4.5% the year before.

These preliminary findings are from a survey of more than 27,000 adults by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings are sometimes revised after further analysis.

“I think that smoking will continue to ebb downwards, but whether the prevalence of nicotine addiction will drop, given the rise of electronic products, is not clear,” Jonathan Samet, MD, dean of the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, told the AP. For nearly 40 years, Samet has been a contributing author to the US Surgeon General reports on smoking and health.

The preliminary findings for 2022 pegged the percentage of adult smokers in the United States at 11%, down from about 12.5% the year before, the AP reported. While more adults smoke cigarettes than vape, the opposite is true for minors. About 14% of high schoolers used e-cigarettes last year compared with about 2% who smoked traditional cigarettes, according to CDC data.

Taxes, increased prices, and smoking bans are among the reasons for lowered rates of smoking, according to the AP. Smoking is also not as socially acceptable as in the past.

Associated Press Article