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Tobacco

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Explore the latest data for the LHI topic Tobacco.
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Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Over the past decade, the current cigarette smoking rate among adults aged 18 years and older decreased by 16.7%, from 21.5% in 2003 to 17.9% in 2013 (age adjusted). Adults with lower educational attainment and lower family income levels had higher rates of smoking compared to their counterparts in 2013. The rate of cigarette use in the last 30 days among students in grades 9–12 also decreased over the past decade by 28.3%, from 21.9% in 2003 to 15.7% in 2013.  
 

Leading Health Indicators

Leading Health Indicators (LHI) are critical health issues that – if tackled appropriately – will dramatically reduce the leading causes of death and preventable illnesses. The LHIs for Tobacco are:

Current Cigarette Smokers — adults (TU-1.1)

  • Healthy People 2020 objective TU-1.1 tracks the proportion of adults who are current cigarette smokers.
    • HP2020 Baseline: In 2008, 20.6% of adults aged 18 years and older were current cigarette smokers (age adjusted).  
    • HP2020 Target: 12.0% (retained from HP2010), a 41.7% improvement over the baseline. 
    • The percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who were current cigarette smokers decreased 16.7% between 2003 and 2013, from 21.5% to 17.9% (age adjusted).    

In 2013, among adults aged 18 years and older:

  • Asian adults had the lowest rate of current cigarette smoking in adults aged 18 years and over, 9.4% (age adjusted), among racial and ethnic groups. Rates for other racial and ethnicity groups were (age adjusted):
    • American Indian or Alaska Native: 21.5%, almost 2.5 times the best group rate
    • 2 or more races: 26.2%, almost 3 times the best group rate
    • Black non-Hispanic: 18.0%, almost 2 times the best group rate
    • White non-Hispanic: 20.2%, more than 2 times the best group rate 
    • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 27.8%, almost 3 times the best group rate    
  • Adult males had a higher rate of current cigarette smoking than adult females (20.5% versus 15.5%, age adjusted).
  • Adults living in families with incomes at 600% of the poverty threshold or higher had the lowest rate of current cigarette smoking, 9.3% (age adjusted). Rates for current cigarette smoking for other family income levels were (age adjusted):
    • 400–599% of the poverty threshold: 14.6%, about 1.5 times the best group rate
    • 200–399% of the poverty threshold: 17.8%, about 2 times the best group rate
    • 100–199% of the poverty threshold: 23.0%, nearly 2.5 times the best group rate
    • <100% of the poverty threshold: 29.5%, more than 3 times the best group rate
  • Adults born outside of the United States had a lower rate of current cigarette smoking than adults born in the US (10.3% versus 19.7%, age adjusted).
  • Adults without activity limitations had a lower rate of current cigarette smoking than adults with activity limitations (16.2% versus 29.3%, age adjusted).
  • Adults living in metropolitan areas had a lower rate of current cigarette smoking than adults living in non-metropolitan areas (16.6% versus 26.0%, age adjusted).

Also in 2013:

  • Among broad age groups, adults aged 65 years and older had the lowest rate of current cigarette smoking, 8.8%. Rates for age groups 18–44 and 45–64 were more than twice as high as the best group rate, 19.7% and 19.9%, respectively.
  • Among education groups, adults aged 25 years and older with an advanced degree had the lowest rate of current cigarette smoking, 5.6% (age adjusted). Rates for other levels of educational attainment were (age adjusted):
    • 4-year college degree: 8.8%, which is not significantly different from the best group rate
    • Associates degree: 17.7%, more than 3 times the best group rate
    • Some college: 20.7%, almost 4 times the best group rate
    • High school: 25.6%, more than 4.5 times the best group rate
    • Less than high school: 25.8%, more than 4.5 times the best group rate

Current Cigarette Smoking by Educational Attainment, 2013

LHI Web Graphic

Data source:  National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), CDC/NCHS. 

  • Adults aged 18–64 with private health insurance had the lowest rate of current cigarette smoking (14.7%, age adjusted) compared to adults with public or no health insurance (28.7% and 29.7%, age adjusted, respectively). The rates of current cigarette smoking for adults with public or no insurance were about twice as high as those with private health insurance.
 

Endnotes:

  • Unless noted otherwise, all disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance. 
  • Data (except those by education, health insurance, and age group) are adjusted to the 2000 standard population using the age groups 18–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–64, and 65 years and older.  
  • Data by education are adjusted using the age groups 25–34, 35–44, 45–64, and 65 years and older. 
  • Data by health insurance coverage are adjusted using the age groups 18–24, 25–34, 35–44, 45–54, and 55–64. Data by age group are not age adjusted. 
  • Age-adjusted rates are weighted sums of age-specific rates.
  • Current cigarette smokers are defined as persons who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and now report smoking cigarettes every day or some days. 
  • Data for this measure are available annually and come from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), CDC/NCHS. 
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.  
 

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Cigarette use in the past 30 days — students grades 9-12 (TU-2.2)

Healthy People 2020 objective TU-2.2 tracks the proportion of students in grades 9–12 who smoked cigarettes in the last 30 days. 

  • HP2020 Baseline: In 2009, 19.5% of students in grades 9–12 smoked cigarettes in the last 30 days.
  • HP2020 Target: 16.0% (retained from HP2010), a 17.9% improvement over the baseline. 
  • The percentage of students in grades 9–12 who smoked cigarettes in the last 30 days decreased 28.3% between 2003 and 2013, from 21.9% to 15.7%, exceeding the Healthy People 2020 target.  
 

In 2013, among students in grades 9-12:

Black non-Hispanic students had the lowest rate of cigarette use in the past 30 days among racial and ethnic groups, 8.2%. Rates for other racial and ethnicity groups were approximately 1.5 to 2.5 times as high:
  • Asian: 10.5%  
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 17.9% 
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 11.8% 
  • 2 or more races: 16.9% 
  • Hispanic or Latino: 14.0% 
  • White, non-Hispanic: 18.6% 
 

Cigarette Use in the Past 30 Days among Students by Race/Ethnicity, 2013

Data Source: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), CDC/NCCDPHP.

  • Male students had a higher rate of cigarette use in the last 30 days than females (16.4% versus 15.0%).
  • Students in 9th grade had the lowest rate of cigarette use in the last month (10.2%).
    • The rate for 10th grade students was 13.2%, about 1.5 times the rate for 9th grade students.
    • The rate for 11th grade students was 21.1%, about 2 times the rate for 9th grade students.
    • The rate for 12th grade students was 19.2%, nearly 2 times the rate for 9th grade students.
 

Endnotes:

  • Unless noted otherwise, all disparities described are statistically significant at the 0.05 level of significance. 
  • Students are classified as using cigarettes in the past 30 days if they report smoking cigarettes on 1 or more of the 30 days preceding the survey.
  • Data for this measure are available biennially from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), CDC/NCCDPHP. 
  • The terms “Hispanic or Latino” and “Hispanic” are used interchangeably in this report.  
 

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