How Many Americans Smoke Cigarettes?

About one in five Americans older than age 18 smokes cigarettes. The number of Americans who smoke dramatically decreased between 1965 and the late 2000s, from about 45 percent to about 19 percent of Americans smoking in 2010. The rate of the decrease of smokers slowed down in the 2000s, though — from 2009 to 2010, there was about a 1 percent drop, compared with a 5 percent drop between 1990 and 2001.

More facts about smoking:

  • The regions of the world where the highest percentage of people smoke are East Asia and the Pacific, where two-thirds of adult males smoke.

  • Only about 8 percent of American smokers are considered heavy smokers — those who smoke more than 30 cigarettes a day. About 20 percent of American smokers smoke fewer than 10 cigarettes a day.

  • About 25 percent of all deaths from heart diseases are related to smoking, as are about 65 percent of all cases of chronic bronchitis.

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