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Adult Smoking Rate in U.S. Dips to a New Low

Update Date: Nov 27, 2014 11:37 AM EST
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The American adult smoking rate has fallen to a new low, a federal agency reported. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the new rate is now less than 18 percent.

For this study, the researchers examined the smoking rate in 2013. The latest rate, at 17.8 percent, is a slight drop from 2005's rate of 20.9 percent. The data also revealed that adults smoked less in 2013. The percentage of daily smokers fell from 80.3 percent in 2005 to 76.9 percent in 2013. The average number of cigarettes that smokers puffed on also fell from 16.7 to 14.2.

Despite this decline, the researchers stressed the importance of getting that rate to continue to fall since tobacco use is still the number one leading cause of premature death in the U.S.

"We need to accelerate the magnitude of the decline," Brian King, a senior scientific advisor with the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, said reported by Reuters.

The researchers also found that Midwest America has the highest smoking rate whereas the West has the lowest. In terms of sexuality, adults who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual smoked about 50 percent more cigarettes than adults who were heterosexual. Smokers were also more likely to be between the ages of 25 and 44, have a GED certificate and live below the poverty level.

The federal goal is to get the adult smoking rate to 12 percent by 2020. The study was published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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