Prevalence of U.S. Smokers Down Substantially Since 2005

Shift represents three million fewer smokers

TUESDAY, Sept. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Adult cigarette smoking in the United States has decreased since 2005, particularly among heavy smokers; there is still, however, room for improvement, according to a report published in the Sept. 6 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Brian King, Ph.D., of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues gathered data from the 2005 to 2010 National Health Interview Surveys and the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System to estimate trends in adult smoking in the United States both state-by-state and as a nation overall.

The researchers found that the prevalence of smoking among U.S. adults 18 and older fell from 20.9 percent in 2005 to 19.3 percent in 2010 -- a prevalence of three million fewer smokers since 2005 -- with proportions higher in the Midwest and South. Although the proportion of smokers lighting up one to nine cigarettes daily increased from 16.4 to 21.8 percent, the proportion of those smoking 30 or more cigarettes per day fell from 12.7 to 8.3 percent.

"During 2005 to 2010, an overall decrease was observed in the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults; however, the amount and direction of change has not been consistent year-to-year. Enhanced efforts are needed to accelerate the decline in cigarette smoking among adults," the authors write.

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