In 2015, one in five adults in the United States used tobacco products from cigarettes to hookahs. This practice remains to be the leading cause of preventable diseases and death in the country.
One In Five Adults Use Tobacco
For the first time in 2015, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) utilized data from the National Health Interview Survey, an annual, nationally representative, in-person survey, to estimate tobacco product use among U.S. adults over the age of 18.
The survey questioned 33,672 adults, and results show that 20.1 percent of adults in the country used any tobacco product, 17.6 percent used combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, while 3.9 percent used more than two tobacco products.
Tobacco product use was higher among the following: males, individuals of multiple races, those living in the Midwest, those who were single, never married, divorced, not living with a partner, separated, or widowed, those who are uninsured or insured through Medicaid, people with disability, and individuals who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.
Tobacco use was also 47.2 percent among adults with significant psychological distress compared to the 19.2 percent among those without psychological distress. In sum, there were 48.7 million American adults who used any tobacco product in 2015.
About 87 percent of the tobacco users reported using combustible tobacco products including cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, while the rest use e-cigarettes and other non-combustible tobacco products such as snuff and dissolvable tobacco.
Leading Cause Of Preventable Diseases And Death
As it stands, tobacco use remains to be the country's leading cause of preventable diseases and death. According to the CDC, more than 16 million Americans are living with a disease that is caused by smoking. In fact, there are 480,000 cigarette smoking-related deaths in the United States each year, including more than 41,000 deaths from second-hand smoke. For every death from smoking, there are 30 who are living with a smoking-related sickness.
Worldwide, 6 million annual deaths are attributed to tobacco use and if the trend continues, the number will rise to 8 million by 2030. Moreover, tobacco users die 10 years earlier than non-smokers on average.
Smoking-caused preventable diseases include chronic bronchitis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and lung diseases. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis and immune system problems, and is a known cause of erectile dysfunction in men.
As such, the CDC and FDA are working together to implement tobacco control programs to reduce tobacco-related diseases and deaths.
"The FDA is focusing on the role that nicotine plays in creating and sustaining addiction to combustible cigarettes, by seeking to regulate the nicotine content in cigarettes to render them minimally or non-addictive," said Scott Gottlieb, M.D., FDA Commissioner.