Smoking rate among US adults drops to 15pct

  • 01/09/2015

The number of cigarette smokers in the United States has dropped to about 15 percent of the population, its lowest point in decades, US health authorities say.

"The prevalence of current cigarette smoking among US adults declined from 24.7 percent in 1997 to 15.2 percent in January-March 2015," the report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics said.

The figures will be updated once the entire year's data is available.

Smoking continues to be more common among men (17.4 percent) than women (13.0 percent), the report found.

Smoking is most common among African Americans (18.1 percent), followed by whites (17.1 percent) and Hispanics (10.4 percent).

According to the US surgeon general, smoking is known to cause "a host of cancers and other illnesses and is still the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, killing 480,000 people each year".

Smokers made up 42 percent of the US population in 1965, a fraction that's dropped steadily over the years, according to the CDC.