The young adult cigarette smoking rate is at an all-time low of nearly 10 percent, a more than 20 percent drop in just a year.

In 2017, 10.4 percent (over 3 million) of young Americans aged 18-24 smoked cigarettes, according to the latest data on cigarette use from the National Health Interview Survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That marks a 21 percent decline since 2016, when the young adult smoking rate was 13.1 percent, and a 45 percent decrease since 2011, when nearly 1 in 5 (18.9 percent) young adults smoked.

Graph of young adult smoking rates

The youth smoking rate has also dropped to historic lows. Now, 5.4 percent (about 1.3 million) of American teens smoke, a half percentage point drop from 2016, when 5.9 percent of teens smoked. These declines underscore the importance of proven public health strategies, including well-funded and well-executed public education campaigns, like truth®.  Research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health concluded that truth prevented more than 300,000 U.S. youth and young adults from becoming smokers in just one year from 2015-16.

Youth and young adults are most at risk of starting to smoke cigarettes. Nearly all — 99 percent — of smokers start smoking by age 26.

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