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American Lung Association Statement in Response to New CDC Study on 2016 Adult Smoking Rates

(January 18, 2018) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Gregg Tubbs
[email protected]
(202) 715-3469

Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the article Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults – United States, 2016 in the January 19th edition of CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report:

"America continues to make tremendous progress in the efforts to reduce the toll of tobacco but today’s study highlights the need to do much more to ensure that all communities and populations across our country benefit equally from this progress.

"The American Lung Association is encouraged by the results of this CDC study, which compares smoking rates from 2005 to 2016. Over that period, current smoking among adults declined from 20.9 percent to 15.5 percent. This is a significant reduction in tobacco use, which is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S. Despite this good news, nearly 38 million adults still smoked. In addition, smoking rates were higher among certain populations and parts of the country, including males, those ages 25-64, American Indian/Alaska Natives, those living in the Midwest and South, the LGB community, those with lower education levels, those who are living below the poverty level, the uninsured, Medicaid recipients and other vulnerable groups. This shows that despite the progress we’ve made, not all Americans have benefited equally.

"The report also highlights encouraging trends regarding quitting smoking among adults. From 2005 to 2016, the average number of cigarettes smoked per day decreased from about 17 to about 14. The proportion of daily smokers smoking 20 or more cigarettes per day declined. In addition, the portion of smokers who had quit, increased from 50.8 percent to 59 percent.

“The American Lung Association is committed to help each smoker quit and to push our public officials at the local, state and federal level to enact proven tobacco control policies, including smokefree workplace laws, increased tobacco taxes, improved quit smoking coverage, product regulation and laws to increase the tobacco sales age to 21."


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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