Nov 14, 2019

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

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

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.

Updated 52 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Massive demonstrations put police response to unrest in the spotlight

Washington State Police use tear gas to disperse a crowd in Seattle during a demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd. Photo: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images

The response of some officers during demonstrations against police brutality in the U.S. has been criticized for being excessive by some officials and Black Lives Matter leaders.

Why it matters: The situation is tense across the U.S., with reports of protesters looting and burning buildings. While some police have responded with restraint and by monitoring the protests, others have used batons, tear gas, rubber bullets and other devices to disperse protesters and, in some cases, journalists.