Smoking down slightly from 2005, but officials say it’s not enough

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Nov. 19, 2012

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Although the percentage of U.S. adults who smoke has gone down since 2005, the level still exceeds the target ceiling set by the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 campaign. That’s according to a report published in the Nov. 9 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Nineteen percent of adults, or 43.8 million people, reported being cigarette smokers in 2011. That is down slightly from the 20.9% of adults, or 45.1 million individuals, who were lighting up in 2005.

The Healthy People 2020 goal is a smoking prevalence of 12% among U.S. adults.

Cigarette use in 2011 was highest among males (21.6%), individuals 25 to 44 years old (22.1%), people with disabilities (25.4%), adults living below the federal poverty level (29%) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (31.5%), the report said (link).

Researchers examined data from the 2011 National Health Interview Survey to estimate current national cigarette smoking prevalence.

The report said the data highlight the need for more extensive implementation of evidence-based interventions to reduce cigarette smoking. Such interventions include increasing the price of tobacco products and enacting more comprehensive smoke-free laws for public places.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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