American Lung Association Pleased by Estimated Drop in Adult Smoking Rates

Statement of Harold P. Wimmer, National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, in response to the release of early estimates of adult smoking rates from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

"The American Lung Association is very pleased by the apparent drop in adult smoking rates seen in the early estimates from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey, released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last night. The estimates show adult smoking rates decreasing from 15.5 percent in 2016 to 13.9 percent in 2017. If confirmed when the final 2017 adult smoking rate is released later this year, it will reflect enormous progress in fighting tobacco use and will yield tremendous benefit to lung health in this country. It will also be the lowest adult smoking rate recorded in the history of this survey.

"Credit for this public health victory should go toward public policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use, including increased tobacco taxes, well-funded tobacco prevention and quit-smoking programs, hard hitting media campaigns like CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign and comprehensive smokefree workplace laws. The American Lung Association has long advocated for these important public policies, and chronicles the progress of the federal government and states in putting them in place as part of its annual 'State of Tobacco Control' report.

"As our 2018 'State of Tobacco Control' report noted, while both adult and youth smoking rates continue to decline nationally, not everyone in America has benefited equally from this progress. Certain parts of the country and populations continue to use tobacco at higher rates putting them at greater risk for tobacco-caused death and disease. This includes people with lower income or educational levels, those with behavioral health conditions, LGBT people and those living in rural communities. Everyone deserves the chance to lead a healthy life, and more work is needed to address this disparity and improve health equity.

"To continue the progress seen in these data released by CDC today, more states and the federal government need to adopt proven policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and tobacco prevention and cessation efforts must be focused on populations with high rates of tobacco use."

For media interested in speaking with an expert about smoking rates and tobacco use, or the Lung Association's "State of Tobacco Control" report, contact Allison MacMunn at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.

For more information, contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

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