Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States
Nearly one in six American adults
currently smoke cigarettes.
- In 2014, nearly 17 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (16.8%) currently* smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 40 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.1
- Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or 1 of every 5 deaths.2
- More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.2
- Current smoking has declined from nearly 21 of every 100 adults (20.9%) in 2005 to nearly 17 of every 100 adults (16.8%) in 2014.1
*Current smokers are defined as persons who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time they participated in a survey about this topic, reported smoking every day or some days.
Current Smoking Among Adults in 2014 (Nation)
Men are more likely to be current cigarette smokers than women.
- Nearly 19 of every 100 adult men (18.8%)
- Nearly 15 of every 100 adult women (14.8%)
Current cigarette smoking was higher among persons aged 18–24 years, 25–44 years, and 45–64 years than among those aged 65 years and older.
- Nearly 17 of every 100 adults aged 18–24 years (16.7%)
- 20 of every 100 adults aged 25–44 years (20.0%)
- 18 of every 100 adults aged 45–64 years (18.0%)
- Nearly 9 of every 100 adults aged 65 years and older (8.5%)
Current cigarette smoking was highest among non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives and people of multiple races and lowest among Asians.
- More than 29 of every 100 non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives (29.2%)
- More than 9 of every 100 non-Hispanic Asians* (9.5%)
- Nearly 18 of every 100 non-Hispanic Blacks (17.5%)
- More than 11 of every 100 Hispanics (11.2%)
- More than 18 of every 100 non-Hispanic Whites (18.2%)
- Nearly 28 of every 100 non-Hispanic multiple race individuals (27.9%)
*Non-Hispanic Asians do not include Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders.
Current cigarette smoking was highest among persons with a graduate education degree certificate (GED) and lowest among those with a graduate degree.
- Nearly 23 of every 100 adults with 12 or fewer years of education (no diploma) (22.9%)
- 43 of every 100 adults with a GED certificate (43.0%)
- Nearly 22 of every 100 adults with a high school diploma (21.7%)
- About 17 of every 100 adults with an associate's degree (17.1%)
- Nearly 20 of every 100 adults with some college (no degree) (19.7%)
- About 8 of every 100 adults with an undergraduate college degree (7.9%)
- More than 5 of every 100 adults with a graduate degree (5.4%)
By Poverty Status1
Current cigarette smoking was higher among persons living below the poverty* level than those living at or above this level.
- More than 26 of every 100 adults who live below the poverty level (26.3%)
- About 15 of every 100 adults who live at or above the poverty level (15.2%)
*Poverty thresholds are based on U.S. Census Bureau data.
By U.S. Census Region1
Current cigarette smoking was highest in the Midwest and lowest in the West.
- Nearly 21 of every 100 adults who live in the Midwest (20.7%)
- More than 17 of every 100 adults who live in the South (17.2%)
- More than 15 of every 100 adults who live in the Northeast (15.3%)
- About 13 of every 100 adults who live in the West (13.1%)
Current cigarette smoking was higher among persons with a disability/limitation than among those with no disability/limitation.
- Nearly 22 of every 100 adults who reported having a disability/limitation (21.9%)
- About 16 of every 100 adults who reported having no disability/limitation (16.1%)
By Sexual Orientation1
Lesbian/gay/bisexual adults were more likely to be current smokers than straight adults.
- Nearly 24 of every 100 lesbian/gay/bisexual adults (23.9%)
- Nearly 17 of every 100 straight adults (16.6%)
Current Smoking Among Adults in 2014 (States)
- In 2014, current smoking ranged from nearly 10 of every 100 adults in Utah (9.7%) to nearly 27 of every 100 adults in West Virginia (26.7%).3
The figure presents the percentage of adults in each state who were current smokers in 2014.3
Note: These data are periodically updated on the following CDC Web sites:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2005–2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2015;64(44):1233–40 [accessed 2016 Mar 14].
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014 [accessed 2016 Mar 14].
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . State Tobacco Activities Tracking & Evaluation (STATE) System. Map of Current Cigarette Use Among Adults (Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System) 2014 [accessed 2016 Mar 14].
- Page last reviewed: March 14, 2016
- Page last updated: March 14, 2016
- Content source: