ATLANTAIn 1995, an estimated 47 million adults in the United States were current smokers. A Profile of Smokers from the American Cancer Societys Cancer Facts & Figures1999 shows that, in that year, smoking prevalence was higher for men (27%) than women (22.6%) and highest among American Indians/Alaskan natives (36.2%), compared with other racial and ethnic groups.
Smoking prevalence was highest among men who had dropped out of school (41.9%). Among adult smokers, more than 80% started smoking by age 18, and more than half were already smoking regularly by that age.
In 1997, 36.4% of high school students were current cigarette smokers, ie, smoked at least one cigarette in the past 30 days.