Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2016

January 26, 2018 / Vol. 67 / 02



MMWR Introduction

The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that the burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted tobacco products. Cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. adults, and about 480,000 U.S. deaths per year are caused by cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure. To assess progress toward the Healthy People 2020 target of reducing the proportion of U.S. adults aged ≥18 years who smoke cigarettes to ≤12.0% (objective TU-1.1), CDC analyzed data from the 2016 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Proven population-based interventions, including tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, anti-tobacco mass media campaigns, and barrier-free access to tobacco cessation counseling and medications, are critical to reduce cigarette smoking and smoking-related disease and death among U.S. adults, particularly among subpopulations with the highest prevalences.


MMWR Highlights

Current Cigarette Smoking Among U.S. Adults, by Population Group, 2016

  • By sex, current cigarette smoking was 17.5% among men and 13.5% among women.
  • By age group, current cigarette smoking was 13.1% among those 18-24 years old, 17.6% among those 25-44 years old, 18.0% among those 45-64 years old, and 8.8% among those 65 years old and older.
  • By race/ethnicity, current cigarette smoking was 31.8% among American Indian/Alaska Natives, 25.2% among multi-racial adults, 16.6% among whites, 16.5% among blacks, 10.7% among Hispanics, and 9.0% among Asians.
  • By education level, current cigarette smoking was 24.1% among those with 0-12 years of education and no diploma, 16.2% among those with an 8th grade education or less, 30.7% among those with a 9th-11th grade education, 24.8% among those with a 12th grade education but no diploma, 40.6% among those with a GED, 19.7% among those with a high school diploma, 18.9% among those with some college education but no degree, 16.8 % among those with an Associate degree, 7.7% among those with an undergraduate degree, and 4.5% among those with a graduate degree.
  • By poverty status, current cigarette smoking was 14.3% among those living at or above the poverty level, 25.3% among those living below the poverty level, and 12.0% among those whose poverty status was unspecified.
  • By U.S. region, current cigarette smoking was 13.3% among those in the Northeast, 18.5% among those in the Midwest, 16.9% among those in the South, and 12.3% among those in the West.
  • By health insurance coverage, current cigarette smoking was 11.8% among those with private insurance, 25.3% among those with Medicaid, 10.2% among those with Medicare only, 19.8% among those with other public insurance, and 28.4% among those uninsured.
  • By disability/limitation, current cigarette smoking was 21.2% among those with a disability/limitation and 14.4% among those with no disability/limitation.
  • By sexual orientation, current cigarette smoking was 15.3% among those who are straight and 20.5% among those who are gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
  • By serious psychological distress, current cigarette smoking was 35.8% among those with serious psychological distress and 14.7% among those with no serious psychological distress.


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