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Vital Signs: Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults Aged ≥ 18 Years—United States, 2005–2010

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September 9, 2011 / Vol. 60 / No. 35

MMWR Introduction

An estimated 19.3%—or 45.3 million—of American adults, aged 18 and older, continue to smoke, a decline from 20.9% in 2005. Of those adults who smoke, 78.2% (35.4 million) smoke every day. The CDC report also shows the percentage of adult daily smokers in the United States who smoke nine or fewer cigarettes per day rose to 21.8% in 2010, up from 16.4% in 2005. The percent who smoke 30 or more cigarettes per day fell from 12.7 percent to 8.3 percent during the same period.

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the U.S. Some people who smoke every day are smoking fewer cigarettes; however, even occasional smoking causes harm. Reducing tobacco use is a winnable battle—a public health priority with known, effective actions for success. A combination of smoke-free laws, cigarette price increases, access to proven quitting treatments and services, and hard-hitting media campaigns reduces health care costs and saves lives.