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Tobacco Use Among Adults—United States, 2005

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October 27, 2006 / Vol. 55 / No. 42

MMWR Highlights

  • In 2005, 45.1 million adults (20.9%) in the United States were current cigarette smokers—23.9% of men and 18.1% of women.
  • An estimated 2.2% of U.S. adults were current cigar smokers and 2.3% currently used smokeless tobacco.
  • Among racial and ethnic groups, cigarette smoking prevalence was highest among American Indians/Alaska Natives (32.0%) and lowest among Hispanics (16.2%) and Asians (13.3%).
  • Among income groups, cigarette smoking prevalence was higher among adults living below the poverty level (29.9%) than those living at or above the poverty level (20.6%).
  • Cigarette smoking prevalence was highest among those aged 18–24 years (24.4%) and those aged 25–44 yeard (24.1%) and lowest among those aged 65 years and older (8.6%).
  • Among current adult cigarette smokers, 36.5 million (80.8%) smoked every day, and 8.7 million (19.2%) smoked some days.
  • An estimated 46.5 million adults were former cigarette smokers in 2005, representing 50.8% of those who had ever smoked.
  • An estimated 19.2 million (42.5%) adult cigarette smokers had stopped smoking for at least 1 day during the preceding 12 months because they were trying to quit.
  • By education level, adults who had earned a General Educational Development (GED) diploma (43.2%) and those with a grade 9–11 education (32.6%) had the highest prevalence of cigarette smoking; those with master's, professional, and doctoral degrees had the lowest prevalence (7.1%).
  • No change was observed in adult cigarette smoking prevalence from 2004 to 2005, suggesting that the slow, steady decline that had occurred from 1996 to 2004 may be stalling and could mirror the lack of decline among adolescents since 2002.
  • Smoking prevalence remains high in many population segments highlighting the need for expanded interventions that can better reach persons of low socio-economic status and populations living in poverty.
  • The most effective way to reduce tobacco use is through sustained and fully implemented comprehensive tobacco control programs at the state and community levels.