NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Bad News For The Anti-Smoking Lobby

November 5, 1999

In its latest survey of adults, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that smoking rates have leveled off this decade, following declines in the 1970s and 1980s. As a result, experts say the goal of reducing smoking to 15 percent of adults by the year 2000 won't be met.

  • The 1997 survey found that smoking among young adults has risen and the smoking rate among all adults has barely budged this decade.
  • One in four adults report smoking on a regular basis -- 28 percent for men and 22 percent for women.
  • For decades a smaller share of those aged 18 to 24 smoked than those aged 25 to 44, but in 1997 the two groups broke even -- with almost 29 percent of each reporting that they smoked daily or "some" days.

The survey involved 35,816 adults nationwide.

A separate national survey, released last December, showed that smoking among high school students soared in the 1990s. Seniors who said they smoked at least once monthly jumped from 28 percent in 1991 to almost 37 percent in 1997, according to the University of Michigan study.

Source: Wendy Koch, "Little Progress in Reducing Smoking Rates," USA Today, November 5, 1999.


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