Smoking rates have fallen by one-third since 2009, from 21 to 14 percent of U.S. adults, according to the latest CDC data. The gap between male and female smokers has narrowed to 4 percent (16 percent of men vs. 12 percent of women).
People living outside metropolitan areas are twice as likely to smoke as people living in large metropolitan areas and 40 percent more likely to smoke than those in small metropolitan areas; this helps explain why life expectancy in rural areas is two years shorter than in urban areas.
Smoking still kills an estimated 480,000 Americans a year.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
Also see Even a Cigarette a Day Is Risky.