One in Five US Adults Use Tobacco Products
Adult smoking rates have dropped from 42% in 1965 to 21.3% today, but the rate of decrease is slowing, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) latest issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR),released online June 24. The report also found use of cigars and smokeless tobacco products remains unchanged.
Meanwhile, use of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, is rising rapidly. The number of adults who smoked traditional cigarettes and said they had tried e-cigarettes doubled from 10% in 2010 to 21% in 2011, the CDC reports. The number of high school students who reported ever using an e-cigarette also rose from 4.7% in 2011 to 10% in 2012.
This MMWR report provides the most recent national estimates of tobacco use among adults 18 years old or older, using data from the 2012–2013 National Adult Tobacco Survey. The survey assessed use of the following tobacco products: cigarettes, cigars/cigarillos/filtered little cigars, regular pipes, water pipes/hookah, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco/snuff/dip, snus (oral snuff), and dissolvable tobacco products.
The findings indicate that 21.3% of US adults used a tobacco product every day or some days, and that number rises to 25.2% when those who used a tobacco product every day, some days, or rarely are included. Of those 21.3%, 73.4% in this group used 1 or more tobacco products daily.
Prevalence of use of specific tobacco products every day or on some days was as follows: cigarettes, 18.0%; cigars/cigarillos/filtered little cigars, 2%; regular pipes, 0.3%; water pipes/hookah, 0.5%; e-cigarettes, 1.9%; and smokeless tobacco, 2.6%.
Demographic breakdowns show where tobacco use is more prevalent: more men (26.2%) than women (15.4%); more younger adults (25.2% for ages 25 to 44 vs 9.5% for those 65 and older); more lower-income adults (29.8% of those with household incomes less than $20,000 compared with 12.8% of those making $100,000 or more); more among the less educated (43.8% among adults with a General Education Development certificate and 6.3% among those with graduate degree); more in the Midwest (23.9% compared with the West at 19%); and more among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender adults (30.8%, compared with 20.5% for heterosexual adults).
Lead author Israel T. Agaku, DMD, from the Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC, and colleagues write that this report highlights the importance of continuing implementation of proven population-based interventions to reduce tobacco use.
"Such interventions include increasing tobacco product prices, implementing and enforcing comprehensive smoke-free laws, warning about the dangers of tobacco use through high-impact antitobacco mass media campaigns, and increasing access to help quitting, in conjunction with Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products," they write.
In April 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed extending its authority to cover e-cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and water pipes/hookahs. The proposed rule would set a minimum age for sales, require health warnings and tobacco ingredient reporting, and ensure FDA premarket review of new and changed tobacco products and all marketing of reduced-risk products.
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