US adult smoker rate drops to an all-time low of 17%

November 16, 2015
(Korea Times file)

(Korea Times file)

The rate of adults who smoke cigarettes in the United States has dropped to 16.8 percent, the lowest in recorded history.

According to a report by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Sunday, numbers from last year show a 20 percent decrease in smoking since 2005.

The average number of cigarettes smoked by users also fell, from 16.7 in 2005 to 13.8 in 2014.

Noted in the report was a marked difference in smoking among certain categories of adults.

Twenty-six percent of those who live below the poverty line were smokers, versus 15 percent for those above or at the line.

Forty-three percent of adults with a GED or lower smoked, compared to about 6 percent among those with graduate degrees.

Sexual minorities — lesbian, gay, bisexual — numbered 23.9 percent.

Adults without insurance also had a higher smoker rate, at 29 percent, as did Medicaid recipients, at 28 percent. In comparison, only 13 percent of adults with private health insurance smoked.

In 1965, 42.4 percent of adults were smokers, according to the CDC.