Do less people smoke in the U.S. than in the past?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Fewer Americans are smoking these days, but that decline may have hit a wall the past five years. In 2008, 20.6% of adults aged 18 and older smoked. That's 22.8% of men and 18.5% of women. We are making strides, but we're still a long way from meeting the goals set by the U.S. Healthy People 2010 initiative to reduce smoking to just 12% of the adult population.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking rates have been declining since 1970, with the smoking rate among young people at its lowest ever.  About 20.6 percent of all adults are smokers.
Robert S. Kaufmann, MD
Internal Medicine

The numbers are going down but the scary part is that young people numbers are increasing.  The older people are quitting and the younger ones are starting to increase.

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Yes.  In the 1960s, approximately 55% of men and 30% of women smoked.  We are now down to about 20% who smoke in both categories.
Joseph I. Miller Jr., MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
In the United States fewer people are smoking each year. However in developing countries smoking is increasing every year.

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Quit Smoking

Quit Smoking

Smoking tobacco products can lead to severe health problems and even death. While quitting smoking can be very difficult for some smokers, there are smoking cessation programs and medications that can help smokers quit. There are ...

many lifelong benefits of doing so, like increased lung function and decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. Understanding the importance of quitting smoking and all options available to help stop smoking is key to long-term success.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.