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Smoking among some adults dropped dramatically in past three decades
Date:11/14/2010

The proportion of adult smokers dramatically decreased during the past three decades in at least one metropolitan area with more quitting and fewer picking up the habit, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2010.

The Minnesota Heart Survey, a population-based, serial cross-sectional study of trends in cardiovascular risk factors, included between 3,000 and 6,000 participants in each of its six surveys. Examining the smoking trends in adults 25 to 74 years old in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area from 1980 to 2009, researchers found:

  • The number of current smokers was cut in half, decreasing from 32.8 percent to 15.5 percent in men and from 32.7 percent to 12.2 percent in women, with greater decreases among adults with higher income and more education.
  • Current smokers were smoking less. The age-adjusted average number of cigarettes smoked per day decreased from 23.5 to 13.5 in men and 21.1 to 10.0 in women.
  • Fewer Americans picked up the habit, with ever-smokers dropping from 71.6 percent to 44.2 percent in men and from 54.7 percent to 39.6 percent in women.
  • Men continued to start smoking regularly at an average age of just under 18 years over the study period.
  • While women have also decreased cigarette use, the age they start smoking regularly has dropped from 19 to just under 18.

"The proportion of people who smoke cigarettes has decreased dramatically in the past 30 years," said Kristian B. Filion, Ph.D., lead author of the study and Postdoctoral Associate in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. "One interesting finding was the differences in the subgroups. Individuals with more education had much greater decreases in smoking than those with less education."

The percent of current smokers among men with more than high school education decreased from 29 percent to 11 percent. In
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Contact: American Heart Association Communications
214-706-1396
American Heart Association
Source:Eurekalert

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