Cigarette smoking hits a low in the US, but don’t thank vapes for it

The number of cigarette smokers in the US hit the lowest levels public health officials have ever seen, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced today. But even though e-cigarette companies tout vapes as alternatives to cigarettes, this dramatic drop in smoking isn’t necessarily because of a rise in vaping.

Only about 14 percent of Americans over the age of 18 smoked cigarettes last year, down from more than 40 percent in 1965, the CDC reports. The record low number of cigarette smokers is good news: smoking kills nearly half a million Americans every year, making it the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the US. The bad news is that there are still populations where smoking is worryingly common —…

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