Smoking in U.S. at All-Time Low

Some 18 Percent of Americans Smoke Cigarettes

Cigarette smoking has hit the lowest point ever among American adults, a new report finds. The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes was 17.8 percent in 2013, a drop from 20.9 percent in 2005, and the lowest rate of smoking since researchers began tracking this figure in 1965, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to a Yahoo! Health News article, the report also found the number of cigarette smokers was 42.1 million in 2013, a drop from 45.1 million in 2005, even though the U.S. population is increasing. 

The decline in smoking rates varied among different populations and regions. Smoking remains high among people who live below the poverty level, those who have less education, and those who have a disability or a limitation. The smoking rate is also high among Americans of multiple races, American Indians and Alaska Natives, compared with people of other ethnicities.

Among U.S. regions, people in the Midwest had the highest smoking rate, at 20.5 percent. The smoking rate was 19.2 percent among people in the South, and 16.9 among people in the Northeast. People who live in the West had the lowest smoking rate, of 13.6 percent.

Current smokers are on average cutting down on cigarettes. Among current cigarette smokers, the proportion of those who smoke every day was 76.9 percent in 2013, decreasing from 80.8 percent in 2005. People who smoked daily reported smoking on average 14.2 cigarettes per day in 2013, compared with 16.7 cigarettes in 2005.

Cigarette smoking is considered the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year, according to the CDC. Smoking leads to cancer, and is also a factor in heart and metabolic diseases, which account for 40 percent of tobacco-related deaths, according to the U.S. Surgeon General’s report in 2014.


Photo: _Claudio_deste_ via photopin cc