Cigarette smoking drops to record low in US as vaping numbers rise

Cigarette smoking rates have declined in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control, as vaping rates increase. Last year saw the lowest ever recorded levels of smoking among adults in the United States at only 13.7-percent, a huge drop of around two-thirds since the agency started collecting information on smokers in 1965. However, vaping has introduced new public health concerns in its place.

The report looked at US adults who smoke tobacco cigarettes; as of 2018, the number sits at 34.2 million adults, not including those who may use other tobacco products like chewing tobacco. That works out to around one smoker for every seven American adults, according to the CDC's new report.

The agency says that cigarettes are still the most popular tobacco product among American adults, with cigars, cigarillos, smokeless tobacco, and other similar products following. The CDC also notes that the number of people using electronic cigarettes increased from 2.8-percent to 3.2-percent from 2017 to 2018; young adults represented the majority of that increase.

In crunching the numbers, the CDC found that the majority of tobacco use takes place in people ages 25 to 44; more than 41-percent of smokers have a GED; nearly 30-percent are on either Medicaid or are uninsured; that sexual and racial minorities make up a substantial percentage of smokers; that more than 26-percent of smokers have an annual income under $35k; and that, among other things, adults who are experiencing 'serious psychological distress' are more likely to smoke.

Those findings aren't surprising in light of past research. Smoking is a habit that tends to persist among those experiencing hardships and stresses, making it more difficult for those individuals to break the addiction. Despite that, however, the CDC found that more adults than ever have reported an attempt to quit smoking in the last 12 months at 55.1-percent.