Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths.1

In 2020, nearly 13 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (12.5%) currently* smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 30.8 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes.2 More than 16 million Americans live with a smoking-related disease.1

Current smoking has declined from 20.9% (nearly 21 of every 100 adults) in 2005 to 12.5% (nearly 13 of every 100 adults) in 2020.1,2

*Current smokers are defined as people 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 2020 (Nation)

By Sex2

Men were more likely than women to currently smoke cigarettes.

  • About 14 of every 100 adult men (14.1%)
  • About 11 of every 100 adult women (11.0%)

By Age2

Current cigarette smoking was highest among people aged 25–44 years and 45–64 years. Current cigarette smoking was lowest among people aged 18-24 years.

  • About 7 of every 100 adults aged 18–24 years (7.4%)
  • About 14 of every 100 adults aged 25–44 years (14.1%)
  • Nearly 15 of every 100 adults aged 45–64 years (14.9%)
  • 9 of every 100 adults aged 65 years and older (9.0%)

By Race/Ethnicity2

Current cigarette smoking was highest among non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native adults and lowest among Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian adults.

  • About 27 of every 100 non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native adults (27.1%)
  • Nearly 20 of every 100 non-Hispanic adults from other racial groups* (19.5%)
  • About 13 of every 100 non-Hispanic White adults (13.3%)
  • About 14 of every 100 non-Hispanic Black adults (14.4%)
  • About 8 of every 100 Hispanic adults (8.0%)
  • About 8 of every 100 non-Hispanic Asian adults** (8.0%)

* Non-Hispanic Other includes adults who were categorized as “non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native and any other group” or “other single and multiple races”.

**Non-Hispanic Asians does not include Native Hawaiians or Other Pacific Islanders.

By Education2

Current cigarette smoking was highest among people with a general education development (GED) certificate and lowest among those with a graduate degree.

  • 32 of every 100 adults with a GED certificate (32%)
  • Nearly 22 of every 100 adults with some high school (no degree) (21.5%)
  • Nearly 18 of every 100 adults with a high school diploma (17.6%)
  • About 14 of every 100 adults with some college (no degree) (14.4%)
  • Nearly 13 of every 100 adults with an Associate’s degree (12.7%)
  • Nearly 6 of every 100 adults with an undergraduate degree (5.6%)
  • Nearly 4 of every 100 adults with a graduate degree (3.5%)

By Annual Household Income2

Current cigarette smoking was higher among people with a lower annual household income than those with higher annual household incomes.

  • About 20 of every 100 adults with an annual household income less than $35,000 (20.2%)
  • About 14 of every 100 adults with an annual household income of $35,000 to $74,999 (14.1%)
  • Nearly 11 of every 100 adults with an annual household income of $75,000 to $99,999 (10.5%)
  • About 6 of every 100 adults with an annual household income of $100,000 or greater (6.2%)

By U.S. Census Region2

Current cigarette smoking was highest in the Midwest and the South and lowest in the West.

  • About 15 of every 100 adults who live in the Midwest (15.2%)
  • About 14 of every 100 adults who live in the South (14.1%)
  • About 10 of every 100 adults who live in the Northeast (10.4%)
  • 9 of every 100 adults who live in the West (9.0%)

By Marital Status2

Current cigarette smoking was highest among persons who were divorced/separated or widowed and lowest among those who were married or living with a partner.

  • About 17 of every 100 adults who were divorced/separated or widowed (17.3%)
  • 13 of every 100 adults who were single/never married or not living with a partner (13.0%)
  • Nearly 11 of every 100 adults who were married or living with a partner (10.9%)

By Sexual Orientation2

Current cigarette smoking was higher among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults than heterosexual/straight adults.

  • About 16 of every 100 lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults (16.1%)
  • About 12 of every 100 heterosexual/straight adults (12.3%)

By Health Insurance Coverage2

Current cigarette smoking was highest in uninsured adults and adults insured by Medicaid and uninsured adults and lowest in adults with private insurance.

  • Nearly 23 of every 100 adults insured by Medicaid (22.7%)
  • About 21 of every 100 adults who were uninsured (21.2%)
  • Nearly 15 of every 100 adults who had other public insurance (14.8%)
  • About 10 of every 100 adults insured by Medicare only (10.2%)
  • About 9 of every 100 adults with private insurance (9.2%)

By Disability/Limitation2

Current cigarette smoking was higher among adults with a disability than those without.

  • Nearly 20 of every 100 adults with a disability (19.8%)
  • Nearly 12 of every 100 adults without a disability (11.8%)

By Mental Health Symptoms*2

Current cigarette smoking was higher among adults who regularly had feelings of anxiety than adults who did not.

  • About 21 of every 100 adults who regularly had feelings of anxiety (21.4%)
  • About 11 of every 100 adults who did not regularly have feelings of anxiety (11.3%)

Current cigarette smoking was higher among adults who regularly had feelings of depression than adults who did not.

  • Nearly 27 of every 100 adults who regularly had feelings of depression (26.9%)
  • Nearly 12 of every 100 adults who did not regularly have feelings of depression (11.8%)

*Measures of anxiety and depression are based on questions from The Washington Group Short Set on Functioning – Enhancedpdf iconexternal icon.

Current Smoking Among Adults in 2018 (States)

  • In 2018, current smoking ranged from nearly 9 of every 100 adults in Utah (9.0%) to 25 of every 100 adults in West Virginia (25.2%).3

The figure presents the percentage of adults in each state who were current smokers in 2018.3

Note: These data are periodically updated on the following CDC Web sites:

  1. 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 2019 Jan 30].
  2. Cornelius ME, Loretan CG, Wang TW, Jamal A, Homa DM. Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022; 71:397–405.
  3. 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) 2018 [accessed 2020 Nov 12].