Tobacco use rates have generally decreased over time. This page describes the change in cigarette and other tobacco rates among adults and youth, including current use, quitting, and average number of cigarettes smoked per day.

Trends in Cigarette Smoking Rates

 

Long term, cigarette smoking rates have fallen:

  • 67 percent among adults, from 42.6 percent in 1965 to 14.0 percent in 2017.  
     
  • 68 percent among youth, from 27.5 percent in 1991 to 8.8 percent in 2017.  
     

Over the last five years, cigarette smoking rates have fallen:

  • 22 percent among adults, from 17.8 percent in 2013.  
     
  • 44 percent among youth, from 15.7 percent in 2013.  
     
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Trends in Number of People Who Smoke Cigarettes and Have Quit

 

The 34.3 million current cigarette smokers in 2017 marked the fourth time in a row there were less than 40 million current cigarette smokers in the United States since the government began collecting this date in 1997.

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Trends in Average Number of Cigarettes Smoked Per Day

 

Between 1974 and 2017, among current cigarette smokers:

 
  • The proportion of people smoking more than 24 cigarettes a day decreased 79 percent from 25 percent to 5 percent.
  • The proportion of people smoking 15-24 cigarettes a day decreased 32 percent from 43 percent to 30 percent.
  • The proportion of people smoking fewer than 15 cigarettes a day increased 107 percent from 32 percent to 65 percent.

Decreases in heavy smoking rates (more than 24 cigarettes a day) from 1974 to 2017 have not been equal across the demographic groups depicted in the table.

 
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Trends in Electronic Cigarette Use

From 2014 to 2017, the number of adults:

 
  • Who had ever used electronic cigarettes increased 14 percent from 12.6 percent to 14.4 percent.
  • Who were current users of electronic cigarettes decreased 25 percent from 3.7 percent to 2.8 percent.
  • These changes were not consistent across the demographic groups depicted in the table.

From 2011, to 2019, current use of electronic cigarettes:

 
  • Increased 1650 percent among middle school students, from 0.6 percent to 10.5 percent.
  • Increased 1733 percent among high school students, from 1.5 percent to 27.5 percent. This was a 33 percent increase from the 2018 rate of 20.7 percent.
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Trends in Adult Use of Other Tobacco Products

Any Tobacco Product
From 2002 to 2017, current use of any tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, and smokeless tobacco):

 
  • Decreased 36 percent among those ages 18-25, from 45.3 percent to 29.1 percent.
  • Decreased 22 percent among those aged 26 or older, from 29.9 percent to 23.4 percent.
  • Decreased 31 percent among men ages 18-25, from 52.1 percent to 46.2 percent.
  • Decreased 19 percent among men aged 26 or older, from 37.3 percent to 30.2 percent.
  • Decreased 43 percent among women ages 18-25, from 38.4 percent to 21.8 percent.
  • Decreased 26 percent among women aged 26 or older, from 23.2 percent to 17.2 percent.

Smokeless Tobacco
From 2002 to 2015, current use of smokeless tobacco:

 
  • Remained stable among those ages 18-25 at 4.8 percent.
  • Decreased 3 percent among those aged 26 or older, from 3.2 percent to 3.1 percent.
  • Decreased 6 percent among men ages 18-25, from 9.4 percent to 8.8 percent.
  • Decreased 5 percent among men aged 26 or older, from 6.3 percent to 6.0 percent.
  • Increased 133 percent among women ages 18-25, from 0.3 percent to 0.7 percent.
  • Remained stable among women aged 26 or older at 0.5 percent.

Cigars
From 2002 to 2017, current use of cigars:

 
  • Decreased 17 percent among those ages 18-25, from 11.0 percent to 9.1 percent.
  • Decreased 9 percent among those aged 26 or older, from 4.6 percent to 4.2 percent.
  • Decreased 21 percent among men ages 18-25, from 16.8 percent to 13.2 percent.
  • Decreased 15 percent among men aged 26 or older, from 8.5 percent to 7.2.nbsp;percent.
  • Decreased 2 percent among women ages 18-25, from 5.2 percent to 5.1 percent.
  • Increased 50 percent among women aged 26 or older, from 1.0 percent to 1.5 percent.

Pipe Tobacco
From 2002 to 2017, current use of pipe tobacco:

 
  • Increased 46 percent among those ages 18-25, from 1.1 percent to 1.6 percent.
  • Remained stable among those aged 26 or older at 0.8 percent.
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Trends in Youth Use of Other Tobacco Products

Any Tobacco Product
From 2002 to 2019, current use of any tobacco product:

 
  • Decreased 6 percent among middle school students, from 13.3 percent to 12.5 percent.
  • Increased 11 percent among high school students, from 28.2 percent to 31.2 percent.

Cigarettes
From 2002 to 2019, current use of cigarettes:

 
  • Decreased 77 percent among middle school students, from 9.8 percent to 2.3 percent.
  • Decreased 74 percent among high school students, from 22.5 percent to 5.8 percent.

Cigars
From 2002 to 2019, current use of cigars:

 
  • Decreased 62 percent among middle school students, from 6.0 percent to 2.3 percent.
  • Decreased 34 percent among high school students, from 11.6 percent to 6.5 percent.

Hookah
From 2011 to 2019, current use of hookahs:

 
  • Remained the same at less than 2 percent among middle school students.
  • Remained the same at about four percent among high school students.

Smokeless Tobacco
From 2002 to 2019, current use of smokeless tobacco:

 
  • Decreased 50 percent among middle school students, from 3.6 percent to 1.8 percent.
  • Decreased 19 percent among high school students, from 5.9 percent to 4.8 percent.

Snus
From 2011 to 2018, current use of snus:

 
  • Remained the same at less than 1 percent among middle school students.
  • Decreased 16 percent among high school students, from 2.8 percent to 2.4 percent.

Dissolvable Tobacco
From 2011 to 2018, current use of dissolvable tobacco:

 
  • Remained the same at less than 1 percent among middle school students.
  • Remained the same at less than 1 percent among high school students.

Pipes
From 2002 to 2019, current use of pipes:

 
  • Decreased from 3.5 percent to too low to measure.
  • Decreased 66 percent among high school students, from 3.2 percent to 1.1 percent.
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Page last updated: March 19, 2020

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