NIOSH

U.S. Adult Smoking Rate Hits New Low

Cigarette smoking, the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, according to CDC.

CDC reported Nov. 26 that the cigarette smoking rate among U.S. adults dropped from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 17.8 percent in 2013, and the latter rate is the lowest since CDC's Nation Health Interview Survey began keeping such records in 1965. Still, the number of people who are smoking is quite high: It fell from 45.1 million in 2005 to 42.1 million in 2013, according to data that has been published in the Nov. 26 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CDC noted cigarette smoking remains especially high among certain groups, including people below the poverty level, those who have less education, Americans of multiple race, American Indians/Alaska Natives, males, and people with a disability.

"Though smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes, cutting back by a few cigarettes a day rather than quitting completely does not produce significant health benefits," said Brian King, Ph.D., a senior scientific advisor with CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. "Smokers who quit before they're 40 years old can get back almost all of the 10 years of life expectancy smoking takes away."

Cigarette smoking, the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, according to the agency.

Smokers can get free help quitting by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW. CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign features real people living with the consequences of smoking-related diseases and offers additional quit resources at http://www.cdc.gov/tips, including cessation assistance developed by the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health.

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