Reported Smoking Prevalence Lowest Since 1965

18.7 percent of U.S. adults reported any tobacco product use in 2021; 77.5 percent of those using tobacco products reported combustible product use

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 4, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Overall, 18.7 percent of U.S. adults reported currently using any tobacco product in 2021, with most reporting combustible tobacco product use, according to research published in the May 5 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Monica E. Cornelius, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined recent national estimates of commercial tobacco use among U.S. persons aged 18 years and older using 2021 National Health Interview Survey data.

The researchers found an estimated 46 million U.S. adults (18.7 percent) reported currently using any tobacco product in 2021, including 11.5, 4.5, 3.5, 2.1, and 0.9 percent, respectively, using cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, and pipes (including hookah). Overall, 77.5 percent of those who used tobacco products reported using combustible products (cigarettes, cigars, or pipes) and 18.1 percent used two or more tobacco products. Increased prevalence of any tobacco product use was seen in the following populations: men; persons aged younger than 65 years; persons of non-Hispanic other races; non-Hispanic Whites; residents of rural (nonmetropolitan) areas; financially disadvantaged individuals; lesbian, gay, or bisexual persons; those uninsured or on Medicaid; those whose highest level of education was a general education development certificate; those with a disability; and those with serious psychological distress.

“In 2021, approximately one in nine (11.5 percent) U.S. adults aged ≥18 years currently smoked cigarettes,” the authors write. “Although this finding represents the lowest smoking prevalence recorded since 1965, nearly one in five adults continue to use tobacco products.”

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