Consumption of Combustible and Smokeless Tobacco - United States, 2000-2015

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2016 Dec 9;65(48):1357-1363. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6548a1.


Combustible and smokeless tobacco use causes adverse health outcomes, including cardiovascular disease and multiple types of cancer (1,2). Standard approaches for measuring tobacco use include self-reported surveys of use and consumption estimates based on tobacco excise tax data (3,4). To provide the most recently available tobacco consumption estimates in the United States, CDC used federal excise tax data to estimate total and per capita consumption during 2000-2015 for combustible tobacco (cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco, pipe tobacco, small cigars, and large cigars) and smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco and dry snuff). During this period, total combustible tobacco consumption decreased 33.5%, or 43.7% per capita. Although total cigarette consumption decreased 38.7%, cigarettes remained the most commonly used combustible tobacco product. Total noncigarette combustible tobacco (i.e., cigars, roll-your-own, and pipe tobacco) consumption increased 117.1%, or 83.8% per capita during 2000-2015. Total consumption of smokeless tobacco increased 23.1%, or 4.2% per capita. Notably, total cigarette consumption was 267.0 billion cigarettes in 2015 compared with 262.7 billion in 2014. These findings indicate that although cigarette smoking declined overall during 2000-2015, and each year from 2000 to 2014, the number of cigarettes consumed in 2015 was higher than in 2014, and the first time annual cigarette consumption was higher than the previous year since 1973. Moreover, the consumption of other combustible and smokeless tobacco products remains substantial. Implementation of proven tobacco prevention interventions (5) is warranted to further reduce tobacco use in the United States.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology