U.S. smoking rate drops to 18%

CDC survey: 20% of young adults smoke

CDC reported this week that the number of U.S. residents who said they have smoked more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and still smoke daily or some days declined to 18% in 2012, down from 19% in 2011.

The agency's latest data were based on a survey of 35,000 adults. CDC officials said they still are analyzing the findings and are unsure about what caused the decline. The decline comes after smoking rates stalled at between 20% and 21% for seven years.

The study found that the smoking rate was 20% for younger adults and 9% for those ages 65 and older.

Patrick Reynolds—executive director of the Foundation for a SmokeFree America—said the findings are "proof that we are winning the battle against tobacco." He added that increasing tobacco taxes, prevention and cessation programs, and public smoking bans likely contributed to the decline (Stobbe, AP/Sacramento Bee, 6/17).

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