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CDC: U.S. cigarette smoking hit all-time low, while e-cig use rose

By Sommer Brokaw
CDC: U.S. cigarette smoking hit all-time low, while e-cig use rose
The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes was 13.7 percent in 2018, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. Photo by ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday that the percentage of U.S. adults who smoke cigarettes reached an all-time low last year, but e-cigarette use increased, mostly among young adults.

The percentage of U.S. adults cigarette smoking was 13.7 percent in 2018, down approximately two-thirds since the first Surgeon General's report warned of the health consequences of smoking over 50 years ago, the CDC said in a statement on the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report released Thursday.

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Still, 34.2 million or 1 in 7 U.S. adults smoked cigarettes and many used other tobacco products.

Cigarettes remained the most used tobacco product followed by cigars at 3.9 percent, e-cigarettes at 3.2 percent, smokeless tobacco at 2.4 percent and pipes, water pipes, or hookahs at 1 percent. The use of e-cigarettes had increased from 2.8 percent the previous year. The increase in e-cigarette use was driven mostly by young adults, ages 18-24, where use rose from 5.2 percent in 2017 to 7.6 percent in 2018, the CDC noted.

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"The sustained drop in adult smoking is encouraging as we work to reduce tobacco-related disease and death in the U.S. through science-driven policy, compliance and enforcement in addition to public education," Assistant Secretary of Health and Acting FDA Commissioner Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., said in a statement. "We remain dedicated to keeping pace with the evolving tobacco product landscape to ensure strong regulatory oversight in light of the increases in youth use of e-cigarette products in the U.S."

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The report also looked at demographic disparities in tobacco product use. Findings show use more prevalent in men; adults 65 or younger; American Indian/Alaska Natives; lesbian, gay or bisexual adults; people with income below $35,000; uninsured people; people with disabilities; and people with serious psychological distress.

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