University of Wisconsin–Madison

National Smoking Rate Down to 13.9%, Yet Much Work Remains

Kid hugs parentThe CDC National Center for Health Statistics released estimates from the National Health Interview Survey showing that 13.9 percent of US adults were cigarette smokers in 2017, the lowest level ever recorded by the survey (which began in 1957). This represents a significant decline from 15.8% in 2016.

It is important to note that these 2017 data are early release estimates that are adjusted for age. Therefore, they may be slightly different from estimates of current adult cigarette smoking that will be released in future CDC reports.

Still, various communities suffer from high smoking rates. These findings underscore the importance of continued implementation of the strategies that reduce tobacco use.

“We’ve come a long way since the 1950s, when nearly half of Americans smoked,” said UW-CTRI Director Dr. Michael Fiore. “A quarter of Americans smoked when UW-CTRI was founded, and we’re proud to be part of the effort statewide and nationwide to reduce smoking to 13.9 percent of all adults. Our challenge is to maintain the momentum and achieve the goal we all share—the elimination of tobacco use and its harms.”