Cigarette Smoking in U.S. Reaches Record Low

New government data indicates just 14% of adults overall partake in cigarettes.

Though the cigarette category remains a significant revenue generator in convenience stores, cigarette smoking has reached an all-time low among U.S. adults—just 14%—according to new data released by the U.S. government.

Experts and researchers say the new data is proof that efforts to decrease the rates of smoking nationwide have been successful.

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An estimated 34 million adults in the country smoked cigarettes in the previous 30 days in 2017, which is down from 15.5% in 2016 and 67% less since 1965, according to data released by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health’s National Cancer Institute.

The steepest decline in cigarette usage decline was among adults aged 18-24 years—10.4% in 2017 compared with 13% in 2016. In all, tobacco usage for this age group was 18.3%, including e-cigarettes at 2.8%.

The data were based on 26,742 adults 18 and older. Current cigarette users were defined as those who reported having smoke 100 or more cigarettes during their lifetime and every day or some days during the time of the survey.

“This new all-time low in cigarette smoking among U.S. adults is a tremendous public health accomplishment — and it demonstrates the importance of continued proven strategies to reduce smoking,” Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said in a statement. “Despite this progress, work remains to reduce the harmful health effects of tobacco use.”

Adults’ cigarette usage has been surveyed since 1965 but usage of other tobacco products began more recently, according to a CDC press release.

Cigarettes were the most commonly used product followed by cigars at 14% followed by cigarillos or filtered little cigars at 3.8%, e-cigarettes at 2.8%, smokeless tobacco at 1%, and pipes, water pipes or hookahs at 1%, the release stated.