Smoking cigarettes decreases among U.S. adults, new government data shows

Smoking cigarettes decreases among U.S. adults, new government data shows
© Getty Images

Fewer U.S. adults are smoking cigarettes, according to new government data.

About 14 percent of adults age 18 and over smoked cigarettes last year. That’s down from nearly 16 percent in 2016, according to an annual national health survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Associated Press reports that this is an all-time low. The survey shows data from 2017 to 2006, when the adult smoking rate was nearly 21 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT

The rate of smoking used to be much higher. In 1965, 42 percent of American adults smoked cigarettes, according to CDC data.

Decreasing smoking rates in the country has been lauded as one of the most successful public health campaigns. In 1964, the surgeon general released the first government report linking smoking with certain diseases.

Now, federal officials are grappling with a new challenge — how to regulate e-cigarettes. They’re trying to balance ensuring children don’t get access to flavors they might find appealing with letting some smokers transition away from cigarettes and to potentially less harmful types of products.