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Tobacco distribution is measured in the United States using the term, "tobacco outlet density." An estimated 34.3 million people, or 14% of all adults (aged 18 years or older), in the United States smoked cigarettes in 2015. By state, in 2015, smoking prevalence ranged from between 9.1% and 12.8% in Utah to between 23.7% and 27.4% in West Virginia. By region, in 2015, smoking prevalence was highest in the Midwest (18.7%) and South (15.3%) and lowest in the West (12.4%). Men tend to smoke more than women. In 2015, 16.7% of men smoked compared to 13.6% of women. In 2018, 13.7% of U.S. adults were smokers.
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, accounting for approximately 443,000 deaths, or 1 of every 5 deaths, in the United States each year. Cigarette smoking alone has cost the United States $96 billion in direct medical expenses and $97 billion in lost productivity per year or an average of $4,260 per adult smoker.
History of commercial tobacco
Commercial tobacco production dates back to the 17th century when the first commercial crop was planted. The industry originated in the production of tobacco for pipes and snuff. Different war efforts in the world created a shift in demand and production of tobacco in the world and the American colonies. With the advent of the American Revolution trade with the colonies was interrupted which shifted trade to other countries in the world. During this shift there was an increase in demand for tobacco in the United States, where the demand for tobacco in the form of cigars and chewing tobacco increased. Other wars, such as the War of 1812 would introduce the Andalusian cigarette to the rest of Europe. After 1880 production of tobacco in America increasingly focused on the manufactured cigarette.
Current smoking among adults in 2016 (nation)
According to the research, for every 100 U.S adults, age 18 or older, more than 15 smoked cigarettes in 2016. In other words, there are about 37.8 million cases of cigarette smokers in the United States. More than 16 million Americans are living with a smoking-related disease. However, the number of smokers in 2016 has decreased to 15.5% which is a 5.4% difference from 2005. This shows an increase in the number of smokers who have quit. Men smoke at a higher rate than women. At every 100 adults, men nearly got 4 more cases than women.
Overall, it is estimated that 5.66 million adults in the US population reported current vaping 2.3%. From those users in the population, more than 2.21 million were current cigarette smokers (39.1%), more than 2.14 million were former smokers (37.9%), and more than 1.30 million were never smokers (23.1%).
Statistics in 2018 estimated that about 14.9% of adults (18 and over) had ever used e-cigarettes, and around 3.2% of all adults in the United States were current e-cigarette users. These same stats also noted that 34 million U.S. adults were current smokers, with E-cigarette usage being highest among current smokers and former smokers who are attempting or have recently quit cigarettes.
The 2010s within the United States saw both the advent and uptick in the prevalence of vaping among American youths. Electronic cigarettes are one of the most up-and-coming forms of nicotine delivery for U.S. consumers. The first commercial e-cigarette hit the markets in 2006. Reports in 2018 estimated that youth vaping is present among 27.5% of the youth population. This is a stark comparison to the 5.5% of reported youths within the United States who smoke combustible nicotine such as cigarettes.
According to government survey data released in April 2023, smoking rates in the United States fell to their lowest point in 2022, with 1 in 9 adults reporting being a smoker. In 2022, the percentage of adult smokers dropped from 12.5 percent in 2020 and 2021 to about 11 percent. According to survey data, e-cigarette use increased to nearly 6 percent in 2022 from about 4.5 percent the previous year. Only about 2 percent of high school students smoked traditional cigarettes in 2022, but about 14 percent used e-cigarettes, according to other CDC data.
|The prevalence of smoking by age|
|18 – 24 years old||8.0%|
|25 – 44 years old||16.7%|
|45 – 64 years old||17.0%|
|65 and older||8.2%|
|Age||% of Population who Vape|
|13 Year Olds||6%|
|14 Year Olds||10%|
|15 Year Olds||15%|
|16 Year Old||22%|
|17 Year olds||24%|
|18 Year Olds||25%|
|The prevalence of smoking by educational level|
|Fewer years of education (no diploma)||24.1%|
|High school diploma||19.6%|
|Some college (no degree)||17.7%|
|The prevalence of smoking by race/ethnicity|
|Non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska Natives||20.9%|
|Non-Hispanic Other races||19.7%|
On February 4, 2009, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 was signed into law, which raised the federal tax rate for cigarettes on April 1, 2009 from $0.39 per pack to $1.01 per pack.
- Cigarette taxes in the United States
- No Net Cost Tobacco Act of 1982
- Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act
- Planters' Protective Association
- Reality Check (organization)
- Tobacco MSA (Alabama)
- Tobacco MSA (Hawaii)
- Tobacco MSA (New York)
- Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
- Tobacco Price Support Program
- Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee
Lobbying and organizations
There has been intensive lobbying in the US to portray smoking as a harmless activity. The Insider is a 1999 feature film about the production of a news segment exposing Big Tobacco. The raising influence Social Media has on new generations of teens has provided new platforms for anti-smoking organizations. A prime example is TruthOrange sponsoring YouTube's content creators to include their ads. As well as using YouTube's ads algorithm to provide their target audience, teens, a thirty-second ad.
- Advancement of Sound Science Center
- Tobacco Institute
- Golden LEAF Foundation
- Youth Tobacco Cessation Collaborative
- Truth (anti-tobacco campaign)
443,000 Americans die of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke each year. For every smoking-related death, another 20 people suffer with a smoking-related disease. (2011)
California's adult smoking rate has dropped nearly 50% since the state began the nation's longest-running tobacco control program in 1988. California saved $86 billion in health care costs by spending $1.8 billion on tobacco control, a 50:1 return on investment over its first 15 years of funding its tobacco control program.
Companies and products
Some of the notable tobacco companies in the US are:
- Philip Morris USA, manufacturer of Marlboro
- R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, manufacturer of Camel
- ITG Brands, manufacturer of Winston
- U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company, manufacturer of Skoal
Marketing to the black community
Historian Keith Wailoo argues the cigarette industry targeted a new market in the black audience starting in the 1960s. It took advantage of several converging trends. First was the increased national attention on the dangers of lung cancer. Cigarette companies took the initiative in fighting back. they developed menthol-flavored brands like Kool, which seemed to be more soothing to the throat, and advertised these as good for your health. A second trend was the Federal ban on tobacco advertising on radio and television. There was no ban on advertising in the print media, so the industry responded by large-scale advertising in Black newspapers and magazines. They erecting billboards in inner-city neighborhoods. The third trend was the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. Big Tobacco responded by investing heavily in the Civil Rights Movement, winning the gratitude of many national and local leaders. Menthol-flavored cigarette brands systematically sponsored local events in the black community, and subsidized major black organizations especially the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). They also subsidized many churches and schools. The marketing initiative was a success as the rate of smoking in the black community grew, while it declined among whites. Furthermore, three of four black smokers purchased menthol cigarettes.
An estimated half a million children worked in the fields of America picking food as of 2012, although the precise number working in tobacco fields is unknown. In eastern North Carolina, children have been interviewed as young as fourteen who worked harvesting tobacco, and recent news reports describe children as young as nine and ten doing such work. Federal law provides no minimum age for work on small farms with parental permission, and children ages twelve and up may work for hire on any size farm for unlimited periods outside school hours. According to Human Rights Watch, farm-work is the most hazardous occupation open to children.
- Prevalence of tobacco consumption § United States
- List of smoking bans in the United States
- Smoker Protection Law
- C. C. Little - tobacco researcher
- Tobacco-Free Pharmacies
- Drug policy of Oregon § Tobacco
- Yu, D; Peterson, N. A; Sheffer, M. A; Reid, R. J; Schnieder, J. E (2010). "Tobacco outlet density and demographics: Analysing the relationships with a spatial regression approach". Public Health. 124 (7): 412–6. doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2010.03.024. PMID 20541232.
- "Smoking and Tobacco Use Fact Sheet". Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
- "Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States". 15 December 2020.
- Adult Cigarette Smoking in the United States: Current Estimate Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Health, CDC's Office on Smoking and (2018-09-24). "CDC - Fact Sheet - Adult Cigarette Smoking in the United States - Smoking & Tobacco Use". Smoking and Tobacco Use. Retrieved 2018-12-01.
- Mayer, Margaret; Reyes-Guzman, Carolyn; Grana, Rachel; Choi, Kelvin; Freedman, Neal D. (2020-10-13). "Demographic Characteristics, Cigarette Smoking, and e-Cigarette Use Among US Adults". JAMA Network Open. 3 (10): e2020694. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.20694. ISSN 2574-3805. PMC 8094416. PMID 33048127.
- "Products - Data Briefs - Number 365 - April 2020". www.cdc.gov. 2020-04-28. Retrieved 2022-04-26.
- "The Evolution and Impact of Electronic Cigarettes". National Institute of Justice. Retrieved 2022-04-26.
- Quintero, Nandeeni Patel and Diana (2019-11-22). "The youth vaping epidemic: Addressing the rise of e-cigarettes in schools". Brookings. Retrieved 2022-04-26.
- Stobbe, Mike (April 28, 2023). "Cigarette smoking rate hits new all-time low for US adults while E-cig rate rises". USA Today.
- "Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States". cdc.gov. 15 December 2020.
- Frank, Pallone (4 February 2009). "H.R.2 - 111th Congress (2009-2010): Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009". www.thomas.gov.
- http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/health/48749802-american-lung-association-celebrates-public-health-victory American Lung Association Celebrates Public Health Victory
- Adult Smoking in the US CDC September 2011
- Keith Wailoo, Pushing Cool: Big Tobacco, Racial Marketing, and the Untold Story of the Menthol Cigarette (2021) excerpt
- The Hidden Victims of Tobacco HRW September 5, 2012
- Children in the Fields: North Carolina Tobacco Farms NBC August 9, 2012
- Beer, George Louis. The origins of the British colonial system, 1578-1660 (1908) good coverage of tobacco system online
- Brandt, Allan. The Cigarette Century: The Rise, Fall, and Deadly Persistence of the Product That Defined America (2007).
- Breen, T. H. (1985). Tobacco Culture. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-00596-6. Source on tobacco culture in 18th-century Virginia pp. 46–55.
- Burns, Eric. The Smoke of the Gods: A Social History of Tobacco (Temple University Press, 2007)
- Goodman, Jordan. Tobacco in History and Culture: An Encyclopedia (2 vol Thomason-Gale, 2005)
- Hahn, Barbara. Making Tobacco Bright: Creating an American Commodity, 1617-1937 (Johns Hopkins University Press; 2011) 248 pages; examines how marketing, technology, and demand figured in the rise of Bright Flue-Cured Tobacco, a variety first grown in the inland Piedmont region of the Virginia-North Carolina border.
- Hirschfelder, Arlene B. Encyclopedia of Smoking and Tobacco (Oryx, 1999); very broad topical coverage, worldwide. online
- Hirschfelder, Arlene B. Tobacco: Health and Medical Issues Today (Greenwood, 2010) online
- Jacobstein, Meyer. The tobacco industry in the United States (1907) online
- Kluger, Richard. Ashes to Ashes: America's Hundred-Year Cigarette War (1996), Pulitzer Prize.
- Milov, Sarah (2019). The Cigarette: A Political History. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0674241213.
- Nathanson, Constance A. Disease prevention as social change: The state, society, and public health in the United States, France, Great Britain, and Canada (Russell Sage Foundation, 2007), pp 109–159 on tobacco online
- Reid, Roddey. Globalizing tobacco control: Anti-smoking campaigns in California, France, and Japan (Indiana University Press, 2005) online
- Robert, Joseph C. The Story of Tobacco in America (UNC 1949)
- Robert, Joseph Clarke. "The Tobacco Kingdom: Plantation, Market, and Factory in Virginia and North Carolina, 1800-1860 (Duke University Press, 1938).
- Tilley, Nannie May The Bright Tobacco Industry 1860–1929 ISBN 0-405-04728-2. online
- Tilley, Nannie May The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (1985) online
- Wagner, Susan. Cigarette country; tobacco in American history and politics (1971) online
- Wailoo, Keith. Pushing Cool: Big Tobacco, Racial Marketing, and the Untold Story of the Menthol Cigarette (University of Chicago Press, 2021).
- Werner, Carl Avery. Tobaccoland: A book about tobacco; its history, legends, literature, cultivation, social and hygienic influences, commercial development, industrial processes and governmental regulation. (1922) online
- Hirschfelder, Arlene B. Tobacco: Health and Medical Issues Today (Greenwood, 2010) online pp 177–224, covers 1929 to 1994.