CDC Report Finds U.S. Adult Smoking Rate Falls to 15%
Smoking among U.S. residents continues to decline, with 15% of adults identifying as current smokers, down from about 17% in 2014 and nearly 18% in 2013, according to a CDC report released Tuesday, HealthDay reports.
According to HealthDay, the decline in smoking began in 2010. Between 2004 and 2009, the smoking rate among U.S. residents stayed at about 20%.
The report is based on data from CDC's 2015 National Health Interview Survey, which analyzes various public health issues.
CDC found that 17% of men and 13% of women smoke. The report also noted that:
- 18% of black U.S. residents smoke;
- 17% of white U.S. residents smoke; and
- 10% of Hispanic U.S. residents smoke.
Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at North Shore-LIJ Health System, said anti-smoking efforts must target those who are most at risk of smoking, including individuals who:
- Are low-income;
- Lack a high school diploma; and
- Struggle with mental health or substance misuse issues (Thompson, HealthDay, 9/1).
Experts attribute the decline in smoking to:
- Anti-smoking advertising campaigns;
- Cigarette taxes;
- Increasing popularity of alternatives to traditional cigarettes; and
- Smoking bans (Stobbe, AP/Long Beach Press-Telegram, 8/31).
Folan and Thomas Carr, director of national policy for the American Lung Association, said it is unclear whether electronic cigarettes have had a significant effect on the decline in smoking because there have been few studies on the subject.
Carr also noted that while smoking bans have been effective, North Dakota is the only state within the last five years to have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws. Twenty-two states have not passed any restrictions on where people are allowed to smoke.
Cliff Douglas, American Cancer Society vice president for tobacco control and director of the ACS Tobacco Control Center, said the findings are "encouragingly consistent with the decrease we've seen since 2009, especially following the stagnation of the mid-2000s" (HealthDay, 9/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.