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Cigarette Smoking Falls to Record Lows in the US

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Smoking among United States adults has fallen to its lowest recorded level in 2018 at only 13.7%, according to a report published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The CDC began collecting data on smoking in America back in 1965, and since then, the number of smokers in the country has dropped by nearly two-thirds. The report estimated that 49.1 million adults, or 1 in 5, used any tobacco product in 2018. Of these products, cigarettes were the most popular at 13.7%, followed by cigars, cigarillos, and filtered cigars at 3.9%. 

While e-cigarettes have shown a sharp increase in popularity, they ranked as the third most common tobacco product used by adults at 3.2%. Vaping continues to be a popular method of smoking among teens and young adults despite widespread reports of the inherent health risks associated with it.

Per the report, people between the ages of 25 and 44 are most likely to use some form of combustible tobacco. It also showed that members of certain minority groups were more likely to smoke. This included members of the LGBTQ community, adults living with a disability or serious psychological distress, and people living below the poverty line. 

“This marked decline in cigarette smoking is the achievement of a consistent and coordinated effort by the public health community and our many partners,” the agency’s director, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, said in a statement Thursday. “Yet, our work is far from over.”

The tobacco industry has continued to decline in recent years, as public rhetoric surrounding smoking has remained widely negative. Perhaps most encouraging is the fact that cigarette smokers today have more tools and resources than ever when it comes to attempting to break the habit. The report details how prospective smokers who attempt to quit have been more successful at doing so when compared to previous years. 

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