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Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2002

May 28, 2004 / Vol. 53 / No. 20

The Friday, May 28, 2004, issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) contains a study titled “Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2002.” According to the study, 45.8 million adults (22.5%) in the United States were current smokers in 2002—down from 24.1% in 1998. An estimated 46 million adults were former smokers in 2002, representing 50.1% of those who had ever smoked. For the first time, more adults have quit than are still smoking.

Unfortunately, disparities in smoking prevalence by socioeconomic status have not narrowed and may have widened during 1983–2002, highlighting the need for expanded interventions that can better reach persons with low socioeconomic status. Comprehensive tobacco control programs at local, state, and national levels need to ensure that their prevention and cessation efforts reach persons with inadequate resources and limited access to health care.

Notice to Readers: Publication of Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health

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