ATLANTA -- While the number of adult smokers in the United States is declining, new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows one in five adults still used some form of tobacco, according to 2015 statistics, Reuters reported.
Conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Atlanta-based CDC found 49 million people, or 21%, were tobacco users in 2015. Of them, 87% reported smoking cigarettes, cigars or some form of pipe tobacco. The remaining 13% reported using e-cigarettes, smokeless or other tobacco products (OTP).
Nationally, cigarette smoking is on the decline, with the CDC reporting 15.1%, or 36.5 million, adult smokers in 2015 vs. 16.8%, or 41 million, in 2014. In terms of the tobacco category at retail, Nik Modi, managing director for RBC Capital Markets, New York, said he expects annual declines in cigarette volume to be about 3.5% for the coming year, which is similar to declines seen in recent years.
The CDC report used data from the National Health Interview Survey, which asked adults ages 18 and older about the frequency of their tobacco use. The data showed that 9.5 million Americans reported using two or more tobacco products every day or some days at the time of the survey.
“These results make clear that more action is needed to reduce the disease and death caused by cigarette use—and the FDA has announced a comprehensive approach to do just that,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the FDA, said in a statement.
This past summer, the FDA announced a new focus on nicotine levels in cigarettes as a way to reduce or eliminate the use of combustible cigarettes. He also noted the need to review nicotine-delivery systems that were less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
According to the survey, tobacco use is higher among people in certain demographics, including people in the Midwest; people holding a high school equivalency diploma; those with annual household incomes of less than $35,000; adults who are uninsured or insured through Medicaid; people with a disability; and among those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual.