According to new data from the US CDC, smoking rates among US adults fell to a record low in 2015 — from 16.8% in 2014 to 15.1% in 2015. The data shows that over the last 6 years, smoking rates have fallen by 27%, which brings the decline in the previous five decades to 64%. In addition, men continue to smoke at higher rates than women with 16.7% of adult men in the US identified as current cigarette smokers in 2015, compared with 13.6% of US adult women.

The CDC data also indicates that one in four men in the US were identified as former smokers compared with 18.9% of women, according to early release data from the National Center for Health Statistics’ 2015 Health Interview Survey. Other findings of the survey include: more adult women than men in the US have never smoked cigarettes; adult men were more likely than women to smoke cigarettes in all age groups; and among both sexes, adults age 65 and older were less likely to be current cigarette smokers than adults between the ages of 18 and 44 and 45 and 64.

An additional finding of the survey shows that the age-adjusted prevalence of current cigarette smoking by ethnicity was 9.9% for Hispanic adults, 17.4% for non-Hispanic whites, and 16.8% for non-Hispanic black adults. According to Medpage Today, anti-tobacco advocates credit the federal cigarette tax increase, the 2012 launch of the first federally-funded mass media campaign aimed at reducing tobacco use, and the 2009 federal law placing restrictions on the marketing and sale of cigarettes for the record low smoking rate recorded in 2015.

In a written press statement, Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, says that while the continued decline in cigarette smoking is good news, “the battle is far from over,” adding that tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death.

“We cannot let up in the fight against tobacco because the tobacco industry never lets up,” Myers said. “The industry spends $9.5 billion a year — more than $1 million every hour — to market its deadly and addictive products. Elected officials must be equally aggressive in working to end the tobacco epidemic for good.”

Source: Medpage Today