US Smoking Rate Hit Record Low, Tobacco Use Remains High

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US Smoking Rate Hit Record Low, Tobacco Use Remains High
Cigarette smoking rates in the US reach their lowest level since 1965, yet overall tobacco use remains high as consumers switch to alternative products.

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cigarette smoking rates in the United States have dropped to their lowest level since 1965, with only 11.5% of Americans regularly smoking cigarettes in 2021. This surpasses the 12% goal set by the US government's Healthy People 2020 plan. However, tobacco use remains high, with nearly one in five adults reporting the use of a tobacco product in 2021, and e-cigarette use rising to 4.5%.


Companies such as Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc. have contributed to this shift in tobacco consumption by expanding into smoke-free nicotine alternatives as cigarette use declines. The number of e-cigarette products available has more than quadrupled from June 2021 to 2022, according to a Truth Initiative analysis.


E-cigarettes have gained popularity among young adults and children, partly due to the perception that they are less harmful than traditional cigarettes and the use of appealing flavors. About a third of people who reported using multiple tobacco products smoked both cigarettes and e-cigarettes.


Despite the decline in cigarette use, smoking remains prevalent in specific populations, including low-income individuals and those living in rural areas. Researchers recommend addressing these disparities through strategies such as increasing product prices, launching educational campaigns, and regulating products.


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