U.S. adult smoking rate appears to have hit new low

Jonathan Cohn reports that smoking in the U.S. has hit an historic low. He explains:

55e4aa6b1400002e002e4858New survey data, which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Tuesday morning, suggests that just 15.2 percent of American adults are now using cigarettes on a regular basis. That smoking rate is nearly 2 percentage points lower than what the same survey reported for calendar year 2014. The basis for the findings are responses to the National Health Interview Survey, which the Census Bureau operates on behalf of the CDC and is among the most reliable instruments government has for measuring health habits and status. The data is preliminary, because it comes from January through March and the smoking rate might yet creep up before the year ends. Among other factors, people have been known to quit in January, after making a New Year’s resolution, and then resume a few months later. But even allowing for that possibility, and the margin of error that all surveys have, it’s likely the adult smoking rate for the full 2015 calendar year will be lower than it was in 2014.

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