Cigarette smoking has reached an all-time low in the U.S., according to researchers at the CDC, FDA, and National Cancer Institute, who analyzed 2018 data from a nationally representative annual survey of U.S. households.
Just under 14 percent of adults reported smoking in 2018, the lowest prevalence recorded in the survey’s six-plus decades and a two-thirds drop from 1960s levels. The researchers also noted small but significant increases over the last decade (2009–2018) in attempts to quit smoking (from 53 to 55 percent of adult smokers) and in having successfully quit over the last year (from 6.3 to 7.5 percent).
On the other hand, use of e-cigarettes among adults rose significantly between 2017 and 2018 (from 2.8 percent to 3.2 percent of adults overall, though the rate among young adults is more than twice as high). Use of smokeless tobacco also went up slightly, but it remains low overall (2.4 percent of adults).
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.