Combustible cigarette smoking rates are down among young adults in the U.S.

The percentage of U.S. adults who smoke combustible cigarettes has reached a new low in 2022, with the biggest decline among young adults (aged 18 to 29) when compared to any other age group. Let’s take a closer look at the data

The data

Gallup’s annual Consumption Habits survey, which has been gathering data each year from 2001 to 2022 (excluding 2020 due to COVID) has shown a significant decline in smokers between the ages of 18 to 29. 

Historically, smoking combustible cigarettes have correlated to education attainment, meaning that young adults who go to post-secondary are far less likely to smoke than those who have not graduated college. However, both groups show a significant decrease—from 17% to 7% among young college graduates and 39% to 14% among young adults without a college degree. 

To offer perspective on a larger scale, from 2001 to 2001, an average of 35% of U.S. adults in this age group said they tried smoking combustible cigarettes, compared with only 12% in the latest estimate provided in the 2022 year. The 23-percentage-point decline, as a result of education and the vast variety of nicotine replacement methods available to show them better ways how to quit smoking, this age group is now the second-least likely to smoke combustible cigarettes. 

Combustible cigarette smokers are shifting to e-cigs

Over the past three years, Gallup has also measured Americans’ use of e-cigs, with an average of 7% of U.S. reporting vaping weekly. Data also shows that among 18 to 29-year-olds, vaping is far more common, with a rate of 19%. Given these differences, it’s safe to say that young adults are vaping rather than smoking combustible cigarettes.

How to quit smoking using e-cigs?

E-cigs are a popular quit-smoking tool for ex-smokers who want to better control their nicotine intake while removing tobacco from the equation. Offering users the option to choose their e-liquid strength allows vapers to start at the level they need and slowly lower it over time without experiencing the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

What did you find most interesting about the data? Drop a comment below to start a conversation. 

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