One in five US adults still using tobacco products in 2015

Some of us just can't kick the habit. Even though we know how bad smoking is for us.

Of the nation’s nearly 49 million tobacco users, Tobacco researcher Dr. Brad Rodu said about 40 million are smokers.

“It’s the nicotine. It’s the way the nicotine’s delivered in tobacco smoke. It’s with a rapid delivery and a great reward for those smokers,” said Rodu. “Calms them when they're nervous. It awakes them if they’re getting drowsy. If they’re having a bad day, it’s a great toxic chemical.”

About 1 in 5 U.S. adults used some form of tobacco product in 2015, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

This is the first time CDC, in coordination with FDA, has used the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to assess the range of different tobacco products used by U.S. adults. The survey has been used to assess current (“every day” or “some day”) cigarette smoking among U.S. adults since 1965, but ongoing surveillance of other tobacco products began more recently.

About 42 million adults - more than 87 percent of the nation’s nearly 49 million tobacco product users - reported using a combustible product such as cigarettes, cigars, or pipes (including hookahs and water pipes). The remaining adult tobacco users reported using e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, snuff, dip, snus, and dissolvable tobacco.

“Too many Americans are harmed by cigarette smoking, which is the nation’s leading preventable cause of death and disease,” said CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. “CDC will continue to use proven strategies to help smokers quit and to prevent children from using any tobacco products.”

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout is Thursday, November 16.

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