Story at a glance

  • Cigarette smoking is getting extinguished in America, with the smoking population at a historic low.

The number of Americans who smoke cigarettes is at an all-time low. The percentage of people lighting up fell to just 13.7 in 2018, according to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The current proportion of smokers in the U.S. is two-thirds lower than when the CDC first started recording the statistic in 1965.

“This marked decline in cigarette smoking is the achievement of a consistent and coordinated effort by the public health community and our many partners,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in a statement.

But despite the decline, 34.2 million adults are still smoking cigarettes. The figure climbs to 49.1 million, nearly one in five U.S. adults, when all tobacco products are included.

The report also found e-cigarette use in adults increased from 2.8 percent to 3.2 between 2017 and 2018. Vaping products have been implicated in a spate of hospital admissions and deaths, raising urgent concerns over their safety and regulation. The increase in e-cigarette use was primarily driven among young adults, ages 18 to 24, where usage climbed from 5.2 percent in 2017 to 7.6 percent in 2018.

The report also found that smokers are more likely to have attempted to quit in the previous year and that more are succeeding.

Published on Nov 19, 2019