Current Smoking Statistics in the United States

Current Smoking Statistics in the United States

The number of quit smoking print, radio, and TV ads in combination with urban anti-smoking policies (no smoking in restaurants or open public places) have made a marked difference the last few years in getting smokers to stop smoking. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of smokers dropped from 20.9% to 19.3% of the US population between 2005 and 2011. In 2012, the rate has decreased slightly to 19% which is equivalent to 44 million people. This rate of decline is good yet not as quick as many had hoped. One of the reasons many believe is that state funding for quit smoking programs has declined by 35% in recent years.

Here are some interesting smoking statistics among demographic groups:

  • People with Disabilities: 25% of those with disabilities smoke compared to 17% without a disability
  • Young adults, aged 18-24: Smoking rate dropped from 24% to just above 19%
  • Smokers start young: 90% of smokers have begun smoking by the age of 18 but nearly no adults begin smoking after the age of 25
  • A Pack and a Half Smokers: Adults who smoke 30 or more cigarettes a day decreased from 13% in 2005 to just above 9% in 2011.
  • One to Nine Cigarettes: Adults who smoke 1-9 cigarettes per day increased from 16% to 22%.

Updated US Smoking Statistics (based on 2010 data)

  • 19.3% of all adults smoke(45.3 million people)
  • 31.4% of all Native Americans smoke (non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Natives)
  • 25.9% of all non-Hispanic multiple race people smoke
  • 21.0% of all whites smoke (non-Hispanic whites)
  • 20.6% of all blacks smoke (non-Hispanic blacks)
  • 12.5% of all Hispanics smoke
  • 9.2% of all Asians smoke (non-Hispanic Asians)


Smoking Statistics in the United States Just a Few Years Ago

Smoking statistics in the United States indicate that 26 million men (25.7%) and about 23 million women (21%) smoke cigarettes. Smoking statistics for those people 18 years of age and older in the U.S. suggest these smoker estimates for the following ethnic groups:

  • Caucasians – 26% of all Caucasian men smoke while 22% of all Caucasian women smoke
  • Black or African Americans – 29% of all Black men smoke while 21% of Black women smoke
  • Hispanics – 24% of all Hispanic men smoke while 12% of all Hispanic women smoke
  • Asian and Pacific Islanders – 24% of all Asians smoke while 7% of all Asian women smoke
  • American Indians and Alaska Natives – 41% of all American Indians/Alaska native men smoke while the same percentage of women – 41% – smoke, as well

The American Heart Association reports additional smoking statistics that indicate that the lesser educated groups of America are more prone to higher percentages of smokers. For example, those with the least amount of education – those educated between 9-11 years – show that 35% of its masses smoke while the most educated group – those educated 16 or more years – show that just under 12% of its masses smoke cigarettes.

Outside of age demographics, there lies the class structure: smoking statistics indicate that 33% of all those living below the poverty level smoke cigarettes.

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Ten years ago, in a study performed by The National Household Survey on Drug Abuse for the years ranging from 1988 to 1996, smoking statistics showed that first time use increased 30% for those aged 12-17 years and first daily use increased 50%. In addition, more than 6,000 people under the age of 18 years smoke a cigarette each day and 2,000 people in that age group are daily smokers.


More Smoking Statistics

More smoking statistics put forth by the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) indicate that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking statistics indicate that almost 500,000 death per year are attributable to cigarette smoking, or one if every 5 deaths. Furthermore, cigarette smoking also contributes to a myriad number of diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, peripheral vascular disease, peptic ulcer disease and many forms of cancer.

In addition, almost 34% of the 46 million smokers identified in 1998 attempt to quit smoking each year. However, less that 10% of those 34% actually succeed.

According to the Council on Disease Control (CDC), about 80% of adult smokers began smoking cigarettes before the age of 18 years. Each passing day, over 3,000 teenagers begin smoking cigarettes for the first time. But, heed the smoking statistics referenced above that state that once you start to smoke cigarettes, you most likely will never find the willpower to quit smoking. Most teen smokers quickly become addicted to nicotine. Those teen smokers are aware that nicotine is addictive and they want or intend to quit at some point, but they are unable to quit smoking. According to CDC smoking statistics, teen smokers experience a high rate of relapse and often debilitating withdrawal symptoms.

The bottom line to all of this is that it is costly to you in terms of health and finances to begin smoking because the chances are that you might never quit smoking. If you want to read what you actually ingest when you smoke just one cigarette, take a look at Cigarette Ingredients.

*American Heart Association

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