CDC: Smoking Down Among U.S. Adults
September 7, 2011

CDC: Smoking Down Among U.S. Adults


Fewer American adults are smoking cigarettes, and even those that do are using less than before, according to the results of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey released on Tuesday.

According to CBS News, the report "shows that 19 percent of U.S. adults are smoking these days, down from 21 percent in 2009“¦ [and] while the percentage of adults who smoke 30 or more cigarettes per day is down 4 percent, the percentage of those who smoke nine or fewer cigarettes a day increased from 16.4 percent in 2005 to 22 percent in 2010."

Despite the positive results, however, the Associated Press (AP) notes that "the trend is weaker than the government had hoped."

The CDC study used information from National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) from 2005 through 2010, as well as the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), to gauge national and state estimates for cigarette usage.

For the purposes of the study, a smoker was identified as anyone over the age of 18 who had smoked at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime, and currently smoked at least a few days each week.

According to the results, an estimated 45.3 million American adults were current cigarette smokers. 35.4 million of them smoked every day, and more men (21.5%) identified themselves as smokers than women (17.3%).

Adults between the ages of 25 and 44 had the highest smoking rate (22.0%), followed closely by 45-64 year olds (21.1%). By race, non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives had the highest prevalence (31.4%), followed by non-Hispanic whites (21.0%) and non-Hispanic blacks (20.6%).

"By region, prevalence was highest in the Midwest (21.8%) and South (21.0%) and lowest in the West (15.9%)," the CDC reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). "By state, smoking prevalence was lowest in Utah (9.1%) and California (12.1%) and highest in West Virginia (26.8%) and Kentucky (24.8%)."

"Any decline in the number of people who smoke and the number of cigarettes consumed is a step in the right direction," CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden, said in a written statement, according to CBS news. "However, tobacco use remains a significant health burden for the people of United States."

"There are three million fewer smokers in America than there were five years ago," Frieden added, according to AFP reporter Robert MacPherson. "People who are continuing to smoke are smoking less--but we can do much better by continuing to invest in tobacco control programs at all levels."


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