Smoking Falls to an All-Time Low Among U.S. Adults. Here’s How Many People Still Light Up

June 19, 2018, 9:34 PM UTC

Smoking is at an all-time low for U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

In 2017, 14% of U.S. adults reported that they were smokers, according to the NCHS’s National Health Interview Survey. And while this is down from 16% in 2016 — and 20% in 2006 — the 2017 figure still translates to roughly 30 million U.S. adults.

Broken down by gender, men age 18 and older were most likely to be smokers in 2017: 15.8% versus 12.2% for adult women. Through the lens of ethnicity and race, Hispanic adults were the least likely to be smokers (9.7%); non-Hispanic whites were the most likely at 15.7%, and non-Hispanic blacks were just below at 15.1%.

This report does not take into account the use of e-cigarettes — battery-powered electronic devices that turn nicotine into an aerosol that is then inhaled. While there are some that say electronic cigarettes may help smokers quit, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force found that “evidence is insufficient to recommend e-cigarettes for smoking cessation in adults, including pregnant women.” The FDA has not approved e-cigarettes as an aid for quitting smoking.

According to CDC data from 2016, 3.2% of U.S. adults used e-cigarettes. In a report released last week, only 7.6% of high school students reported smoking cigarettes. However, 11.7% of high schoolers said they used e-cigarettes. People in some areas in Northern California worried that flavored tobacco products including e-cigarette flavors are targeting kids and are considering restricting their sale.

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