News Releases

New Report Shows Declining Trend in Number and Intensity Level of Adult Smokers

Report Released Days Before the American Cancer Society’s 37th Great American Smokeout

November 8, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. – November 8, 2012 – The number of adults who smoke and the intensity level of those who do declined between 2005 and 2011, according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH). The article, entitled “Current Cigarette Use Among Adults — United States, 2011,” is featured in this week’s issue of the CDC journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The report finds that overall smoking rates for adults fell from 20.9 percent to 19 percent between 2005 and 2011. However, there was no significant decline in smoking rates between 2010 and 2011. The report also shows that smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes today. About 9 percent of daily smokers smoked 30 or more cigarettes a day in 2011, compared to 12.6 percent in 2005.

The CDC’s report is based on data from the National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative survey of U.S. adults.

A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows:

“The CDC’s data demonstrating a declining trend in the number and intensity level of adult smokers is promising, but there’s still more work to be done.

“The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout, which is on Nov. 15, was launched more than 30 years ago as a platform to help people make a plan to quit smoking. Passing strong tobacco control legislation is critical to helping the 19 percent of Americans who still smoke kick the deadly habit. ACS CAN is working with cancer survivors and volunteers across the country to not only encourage quitting, but call on lawmakers to do their part to help.

“Lawmakers must address tobacco use through proven approaches that include raising the price of tobacco products, implementing comprehensive smoke-free policies and fully funding and sustaining evidenced-based, statewide tobacco prevention and cessation programs. States with comprehensive tobacco control programs experience faster declines in cigarette sales, smoking prevalence and lung cancer incidence and mortality than states that do not invest in these programs.

“Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable deaths in this country, killing approximately 443,000 Americans each year. Lawmakers at all levels of government have a crucial role to play in ensuring Big Tobacco cannot continue to deceive the American people and addict our children to its deadly products by enacting legislation to support measures that are proven to reduce tobacco use and save lives.”

ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit

Lauren Walens or Steven Weiss
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
Phone: (202) 661-5763 or (202) 661-5711
Email: or

#CDC #MMWR #smoking #tobacco #Smokeout #GreatAmericanSmokeout #cancer


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ACS CAN is the nation's leading cancer advocacy organization that is working every day to make cancer issues a national priority. More

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