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MMWR
Synopsis for November 5, 1999

MMWR articles are embargoed until 4 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday.

  1. Achievements in Public Health: Reduction in Tobacco Use United States, 1900-1999
  2. Cigarette Smoking Among Adults United States, 1997
Fact Sheet:

MMWR
Synopsis for November 5, 1999

Achievements in Public Health: Reduction in Tobacco Use United States, 1900-1999

Since the release of the landmark 1964 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, tremendous public health strides have been made in reducing tobacco use.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Michael Eriksen, Sc.D.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
(770) 488-5493
(Alternate: Linda Pederson, Ph.D., same phone number)
The reduction of cigarette smoking is acknowledged as one of the ten most notable public health achievements of this century. This report shows that per capita use of cigarettes decreased from a high of 4,345 cigarettes in early 1963 to a low of 2,261 in 1998; the lowest level since the 1940s. Despite tremendous public health strides that have been made in reducing tobacco use additional efforts are needed: 1) reduction in adult smoking, which has remained virtually unchanged and stable in the 1990s; 2) reversing smoking trends among young people, which has been on the rise since 1991; 3) reducing disparities in smoking prevalence and smoking-related illnesses and deaths among racial/ethnic populations; and 4) implementing public health policies to protect citizens from secondhand smoke.

 

Cigarette Smoking Among Adults United States, 1997

Expanded efforts are needed to encourage smoking cessation among current smokers.

 
PRESS CONTACT:
Michael Eriksen, Sc.D.
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion
(770) 488-5493
(Alternate: Beverly Kingsley, Ph.D., same phone number)
Data from the 1997 National Health Interview Survey show that an estimated 48 million (24.7 percent) adults aged 18 years and older currently smoke in the United States; 27.6 percent men and 22.1 percent women. The findings of this study and data from 1993 (25.0 percent), 1994 (25.5 percent) and 1995 (24.7 percent) show that adult smoking has remained unchanged in the 1990's, and is falling short of the nation's public health goal of reducing smoking to no more than 15 percent by the year 2000. Historically, smokers aged 25-44 years had the highest smoking prevalence; however, smokers age 18-24 and 25-44 years of age were smoking at equal rates in 1997; 28.7 percent and 28.6 percent, respectively.

 


MMWR

Cigarette Smoking Among Adults -- United States, 1997


November 5, 1999
CDC, Office on Smoking and Health
(770) 488-5493

  • An estimated 48 million (24.7 percent) of adults 18 and older currently smoke in the United States; 27.6 percent of men and 22.1 percent of women.
  • Data from 1993 (25.0 percent), 1994 (25.5 percent), 1995 (24.7 percent), and 1997 (24.7 percent) show that adult smoking has remained unchanged in the 1990's and is falling short of the nation's public health goal of reducing smoking to no more than 15 percent by the year 2000.
  • Historically, smokers aged 25-44 had the highest smoking prevalence; however, smokers age 18-24 and 25-44 years are smoking at equal rates in 1997 -- 28.7 percent and 28.6 percent, respectively.
  • Current smoking prevalence among young adults aged 18-24 was 25.8 percent in 1993, 24.8 percent in 1995, and 28.7 percent in 1997. Although the changes in smoking prevalence data were not statistically significant for the years analyzed, the data suggest that smoking prevalence may be increasing among young adults. There was no significant change in smoking among adults aged 25-44 for the same period; 29.2 percent in 1993 and 28.6 percent in 1995 and 1997.
  • Smoking prevalence was higher among American Indians/Alaskan Natives (34.1 percent), African Americans (26.7 percent), and whites (25.3 percent) than among Hispanics (20.4 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islanders (16.9 percent). Smoking prevalence among the various race/ethnic populations remained fairly stable in recent years.
  • Adults with 9-11 years of education had higher smoking prevalence (35.4 percent) than adults with 16 or more years of education (11.6 percent).
  • Smoking prevalence was higher among adults living below the poverty level (33.3 percent) than those living at or above the poverty level (24.6 percent).
  • An estimated 44 million adults (25.1 million men and 19.2 million women) were former smokers, which remains unchanged from 1995. Of current every-day adult smokers in 1997, approximately 16 million quit smoking for at least one day during the last year.
  • Preventing the onset of smoking among young people is critical to the long-term success of tobacco control goals; however, helping smokers quit is critical to reducing the health and financial burden attributed to smoking in the short-term. Smoking cessation guidelines published by the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research provide a blueprint for healthcare professionals and health insurance providers in implementing appropriate medical services that will help treat nicotine addiction.

For more information, visit this CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco


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