CDC Finds Percentage of US Smokers Has Declined

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) released a study published Wednesday in the organization’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report saying that smoking cigarettes in the US has dropped to its lowest level. As of 2013, 17.8 percent of US adults or 42.1 million people were “current cigarette smokers.” The CDC defined “current cigarette smoker” if they had smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their life time and if they smoked every day or every few days at the time of the interview.

The CDC got their data from the National Health Interview Survey, an annual in-person survey conducted with a representative sample of adults who aren’t in the military or institutions. The data show that not only are fewer Americans smoking, but the smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes. The percentage of current smokers who smoke daily fell from 2005’s 80.8% to 2013’s 76.9%. Even those smokers are smoking less. In 2005, the average daily smoker smoked 16.7 cigarettes a say. By 2013, that figure had dropped to 14.2 cigarettes a day.

Brad Reifler says the study also found demographic differences between smokers and non-smokers. Smokers were more likely to be multi-racial or Native American and less likely to be of Asian descent. Smokers tended to be live in the South or Midwest and were most likely between 25 and 44 years old.

The researchers noted that they did not include cigar or other forms of tobacco use in their study. These forms of smoking had not shown any signs of decline, and had even increased in some populations. 

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