ATLANTASmoking rates among adults in the United States have dropped dramatically over the past 30 years, from 44% in 1965 to 25.5% in 1990, but now the rate seems to have leveled off, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a report.
The 1997 rate is 24.7%, exactly the same as the 1995 rate. The 1997 figure, based on a CDC survey of more than 35,000 people nationwide, translates into 48 million smokers.
The CDC noted that for most adult age groups, smoking rates did decline from 1990 to 1997, but this was countered by an increased smoking rate among adults aged 18 to 24 (from 24.5% in 1990 to 28.7% in 1997).
CDC officials are optimistic that smoking rates will decline in 1999 as a result of the recent cigarette price hike. However, the CDC expects to fall far short of its stated goal of reducing the adult smoking rate to 15% by the year 2000.