Cdc – fact sheet – adult cigarette smoking in the united states – smoking & tobacco use


  • An estimated 42.1 million people, or 18.1% of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States smoke cigarettes.1 Cigarette smoking is more common among men (20.5%) than women (15.8%).1
  • Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths, or one of every five deaths, each year.2
  • More than 16 million Americans suffer from a disease caused by smoking.2
  • Overall smoking prevalence declined from 2005 (20.9%) to 2012 (18.1%).1

National EstimatesPercentage of adults who were current cigarette smokers in 2012 1

  • 18.1% of American adults are current smokers
  • Represents about 42.1 million Americans

By Gender

  • 20.5% of adult men
  • 15.8% of adult women

By Age

  • 17.3% of adults aged 18 24 years
  • 21.6% of adults aged 25 44 years
  • 19.5% of adults aged 45 64 years
  • 8.9% of adults aged 65 years and older

By Race/Ethnicity

  • 21.8% of American Indians/Alaska Natives (non Hispanic)
  • 10.7% of Asians (non Hispanic excludes Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders)
  • 18.1% of Blacks (non Hispanic)
  • 12.5% of Hispanics
  • 19.7% of Whites (non Hispanic)
  • 26.1% of Multiple race individuals

By Education

  • 24.7% of adults with 12 or less years of education (no diploma)
  • 41.9% of adults with a GED diploma
  • 23.1% of adults with a high school diploma
  • 9.1% of adults with an undergraduate college degree
  • 5.9% of adults with a postgraduate college degree

By Poverty Status

  • 27.9% of adults who live below the poverty level
  • 17.0% of adults who live at or above the poverty level

State Estimates

  • By state, in 2012, smoking prevalence ranged from 10.6% in Utah to 28.3% in Kentucky.3
  • By U.S. Census region, during 2012, prevalence was significantly higher in the Midwest (26.0%) and South (19.7%) than in the Northeast (16.5%) and West (14.2%).1


  • Current smokers are defined as persons who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes during their lifetime and who, at the time of interview, reported smoking every day or some days.
  • Poverty thresholds are based on data published by the U.S. Census Bureau.

E-cigarettes – the safer way to smoke?

What are E Cigarettes?

E Cigarettes are, as the title suggests, electronic cigarettes. About the same weight as your average pen, they look and work a lot like an actual cigarette. Simply take a drag on the end, as you would with any other cigarette, and a dose of nicotine is released to the user, along with “smoke” to give a more authentic feel. As there is no tar or tobacco in an E Cigarette, smoking one is far less harmful to the users health, and the health of those around you as the “smoke” that is produced is condensed air (vapor), there is absolutely no passive smoke risk.

What is in an E Cigarette?

Liquid nicotine, tobacco extract flavorings and Propylene glycol. The more pertinent question though is what isn’t in an E Cigarette. None of the 4000 chemicals that are present in cigarettes, including tar, carbon monoxide and arsenic, are present in an E Cigarette.

What is Propylene Glycol?

The Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease states on their website that

Propylene glycol is a ‘Generally Recognized as Safe’ (GRAS) additive for foods and medications.

How safe are they really?

Whilst not completely safe (nicotine is still after all an addictive drug, considered just as dangerous as caffeine) they are certainly a lot safer than regular cigarettes. There are no carcinogenic lung cancer causing chemicals present in an e cigarette.

How much money can I save with E cigarettes? How long do E Cigarettes last?

E Cigarettes are generally on sale at most tobacconists for 6.00. If you consider that a ten deck of regular cigarettes generally costs 3.95, you are saving yourself 2.05 and are getting a “cigarette” that is the equivalent of 30 regulars. It would cost over 7.00 to buy a twenty deck of regular cigarettes.

An average cigarette is consumed in 10 inhalations, so it would take 300 inhalations of one E cigarette until it has run out. Even then, all you need to do is purchase an e cigarette charger, which is basically a USB device that can plug into your computer, to recharge your electronic cigarette when it has expired, meaning that you can re use your cigarette time and time again as long as you wish!

Is there more than one flavor?

Yes. Menthal electronic cigarettes can also be purchased, and are very popular. Apple flavored electronic cigarettes are also sold.

Other advantages over traditional smoking?

Unlike regular cigarettes, E cigarettes can be smoked indoors in public places such as pubs and restaurants etc. Although there have been reported cases of landlords demanding that electronic cigarette users smoke outside, it is not technically against the smoking ban, or the law, to smoke one indoors.

Secondly, you don’t have to smoke one “whole cigarette”, you can merely take a few drags for the nicotine release and then put it away for later. No lighters are necessary, and the E Cigarette is easily transportable in your trouser pocket.

Furthermore, electronic cigarettes are odorless, and do not make your breath or clothing smell, allowing for discreet “smoking”.

Can I smoke electronic cigarettes whilst pregnant?

No. Nicotine is still a drug, and may be harmful to your baby.

In Summary&#8230

Traditional cigarettes contain hydrogen cyanide, a gas used to murder Jews in the Holocaust. There are also 4,000 other chemicals present in your average cigarette that are also present in things like embalming fluid, insecticides, gasoline, bathroom cleaners and nail polish remover.

Simply put, smoking is harmful, Around 6 million deaths a year are caused by tobacco.

E Cigarettes however do not contain tobacco or any of the other 4,000 aforementioned potentially lethal chemicals. The health benefits of using an e cigarette instead of a standard one to sate that nicotine craving are huge. What’s more, using an electronic cigarette still gives you the feeling that you are actually smoking the authentic, yet purely synthetic smoke that it produces, and the rush of nicotine to the brain are all still factors of using these devices, and they taste like cigarettes too.

There are also certain social advantages as well they can be smoked in the comfort of indoors, and they will not irk your non smoking friends when used.

Smoking an electronic cigarette is the much safer, more convenient way to smoke.

Are you a smoker? Would you consider switching to electronic cigarettes? Do you already use electronic cigarettes? If so, we want to hear your opinions. Post your comments below.