Smoking on the Decline in America

Smoking rates have dropped in the US among adults over the past fifteen years

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Robert Carlson, M.D

(RxWiki News) There is good news on the smoking front: adults in America have been saying no to smoking more and more over the years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released data collected on smoking rates among adults in the US.

The data showed that the rate of smoking has dropped over the past 15 years.

"Quit smoking today!"

According to the 1997 data collected by the CDC, 24.7 percent of US adults were smokers.

Slow and steady declines in smoking rates were seen every year until a slight uptick occurred in 2008 and 2009.

In 2004, the CDC found that the national smoking rate was 20.9 percent, which remained steady in 2005 and only fell by 0.1 percent to 20.8 percent in 2006.

An all-time low occurred in 2007, with a national smoking rate of 19.7 percent among US adults.

The slight uptick in 2008 raised the smoking rate back up to 20.5 percent and 20.6 percent in 2009.

Since then, the slow and steady decline has resumed, leading to a smoking rate among US adults of 18 percent in 2012.

Current smokers were most likely to be men, at 20.4 percent compared to women at 15.8 percent.

Current smokers were also most likely to be between 18 and 44 years of age, at 20.3 percent compared to 19.5 percent of people aged 45 to 64 and 8.9 percent of people 65 years of age and older.

Former smokers were more likely to be men, at 25.3 percent compared to women at 19.1 percent.

Women were more likely to have never smoked compared to men (65.2 percent versus 54.3 percent).

When evaluated by race, the researchers found that 11.9 percent of Hispanic adults, 17.9 percent of non-Hispanic black adults and 20.5 percent of non-Hispanic white adults were current smokers.

Non-Hispanic white males, 18 to 44 years of age, were most likely to be current smokers compared to all other groups.

The overall rate of smoking among US adults has dropped 6.7 percent from 1997 to 2012.

This study was released in June on the CDC website.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
June 19, 2013
Last Updated:
August 2, 2013