Prevalence of current cigarette smoking among adults and changes in prevalence of current and some day smoking--United States, 1996-2001

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2003 Apr 11;52(14):303-4, 306-7.


Tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking, is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and is responsible for approximately 440,000 deaths each year. One of the national health objectives for 2010 is to reduce the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults to < or = 12% (objective 27.1). To examine the prevalence of smoking for the 50 states, the District of Columbia (DC), Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, CDC analyzed data from the 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicate that, during 2001, the median adult current smoking prevalence was 23.4% (range: 13.3%-30.9%) for the states and DC, and 12.5% (range: 9.8%-31.4%) for Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. During 1996-2001, the prevalence of current smoking was relatively stable in 41 states and DC, and the proportion of current smokers who were some day smokers increased significantly in 31 of those states and DC. Because the only safe alternative to smoking is cessation, interventions should target all smokers to help them quit smoking completely.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking / trends*
  • United States / epidemiology