CDC: Cigarette smoking among US adults hits record low

Still most popular tobacco product

(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Smoking among adults in the United States has declined by approximately two-thirds since the first report of smoking’s health consequences more than 50 years ago, with 13.7% adults smoking in 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Thursday.

Approximately 49.1 million U.S. adults currently use a tobacco product, with cigarettes as the reigning favorite at 13.7%, according to data released Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

“This marked decline in cigarette smoking is the achievement of a consistent and coordinated effort by the public health community and our many partners,” said CDC Director Robert Redfield. “Yet, our work is far from over. The health benefits of quitting smoking are significant, and we are committed to educating Americans about the steps they can take to become tobacco-free.”

While one in seven U.S. adults smoke cigarettes, the next most-popular tobacco product were cigars, cigarillos or filtered little cigars at 3.9%, followed by e-cigarettes at 3.2%, smokeless tobacco at 2.4%, then pipes, water pipes or hookahs at 1%, according to the CDC.

Use of any tobacco product in 2018 was highest among adults 25 to 44 years old (23.8%) and adults with an annual household income under $35,000 (26.2%), the study found.

Efforts to quit smoking among U.S. adults has also increased, contributing to the overall decline in cigarette smoking, as attempts to quit in the past 12 months went from 52.8% in 2009 to 55.1% in 2018, according to the CDC.

According to the agency: “Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the U.S. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year including more than 41,000 deaths resulting from secondhand smoke exposure.”

For more information on smoking trends in the United States, view the full report.