( ENSPIRE NEWS ) US Cigarette Smoking Hit all-time Low Among Adults
US Cigarette smoking is at an all-time low. Only 15.3% of American adults now light up — down from 16.8% in 2014 and 24.7% in 1997, the Centers for Disease Control said Tuesday.
Americans are butting out because of the high cost of cigarettes and thanks to fewer legal places to smoke, experts said.
“Efforts undertaken for the last several years are finally taking effect,” said Dr. Robert Sussman, director of the Atlantic Respiratory Institute in Summit, N.J. “Banning smoking in public places made it less socially acceptable (and) taxes have taken their toll in a good way.”
The broad-ranging federal report — based on surveys of 26,000 people — also found:
- 17.3% of men and 13.5% of women smoke.
- The fewest smokers, 8.4%, are among those 65 and older.
- Roughly 17% of adults 18 to 64 smoke.
- Whites smoke more than blacks with 17.7% to 16.9%. Just under 10% of Hispanics smoke.
- Health experts were happy to see that 67.6% of women and 57.9% of men reported that they never smoked.
The numbers are a big change from the days when many Americans smoked multiple packs of low-cost cigs a day. In the 1940s, a pack cost around 15 cents. Today, packs can cost as much as $14.
Federal authorities calculate smoking rates differently today, but experts say cigarette smoking reached a peak in 1965 when 41.9% of all adults smoked, including more than half of all men.
The CDC’s 2015 numbers are a bit stunted because more and more people are smoking e-cigs, which were not covered in the report issued this week.
Over the years, it’s been well documented that smoking cigarettes is a main contributor to lung cancer, emphysema and cardio vascular disease, said Dr. Mark Creager, a cardiologist and president of the American Heart Association.
And the same CDC report said that while smoking is down, obesity is way up. A coincidence? Perhaps.