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Smoking cigarettes in the U.S. hits all-time low

stacks of marlboro cartons
Photo: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

Cigarette smoking among U.S. adults reached an all-time low in 2018 at nearly 14%, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday, a decline of roughly 66% over the last 50 years.

Between the lines: Smoking cigarettes remains deadlier than vaping despite a spotlight on the 2,000-plus cases and dozens of deaths associated with e-cigarette lung injuries this year. More than 34 million adults continue to smoke, and millions more use other tobacco products, per the study.

Driving the news: This week, the state of New York passed a law to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco and electronic cigarettes from 18 to 21 years old.

Highlights:

  • One in seven adults in the U.S. still smoke cigarettes.
  • Between 2017–2018, e-cigarette use rose for the first time in several years, primarily driven by an uptick among young adults. In 2017, 5.2% 18- to 24-year-olds used e-cigarettes, compared to 7.6% in 2018.
  • Smokeless tobacco use also increased from 2.1% to 2.4% among adults during the same time period.

Go deeper: Big Tobacco is targeting developing nations: report