CDC: Cigarette Smoking Continues Decline, Prevalence of Other Tobacco Use Stable

Although cigarette smoking among U.S. adults have declined over the past five decades, the prevalence of use of other tobacco products such as cigars and smokeless tobacco has not changed, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition, more Americans are using electronic cigarettes, the CDC reported in June, using data from the 2012-13 National Adult Tobacco Survey.

The CDC found that 21.3 percent of U.S. adults (about 1 in 5 U.S. adults) used a tobacco product every day or some days, and 25.2 percent used a tobacco product every day, some days, or rarely.

According to, the ADA's consumer website, tobacco products can cause bad breath, stained teeth and tongue, dulled sense of taste and smell, slow healing after a tooth extraction or other surgery, gum disease and oral cancer.

The CDC reported that the prevalence of "every day or some days" cigarette smoking was 18 percent, down from 19.5 percent in the 2009-2010 National Adult Tobacco Survey.

Prevalence of "every day or some days" use of other tobacco products was as follows: cigars, 2 percent; regular pipes, 0.3 percent; water pipes/hookah, 0.5 percent; e-cigarettes, 1.9 percent; smokeless tobacco, 2.6 percent.

In January 2014, the U.S. marked the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health by expanding the list of illnesses associated with smoking. The report had concluded that disease and deaths from tobacco use are "overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other combusted products."

More than 20 million Americans have died because of smoking since the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health was issued in 1964, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Of those deaths, 2.5 million were nonsmokers who died because they breathed secondhand smoke-air that was polluted by other people's cigarette smoke.

For more information on the effects of smoke and tobacco on your oral health, visit and search "smoking and tobacco." To view the CDC report, visit and search "Tobacco Product Use Among Adults-United States, 2012-2013."

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This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.

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Tobacco's greatest threat to your health may be its association with oral cancer. The American Cancer Society reports that:

  • About 90 percent of people with mouth cancer and some types of throat cancer have used tobacco. The risk of developing these cancers increases as people smoke or chew more often or for a longer time.

  • Smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop these cancers.

  • About 37 percent of patients who continue to smoke after cancer treatment will develop second cancers of the mouth, throat or larynx. While only 6 percent of people who quit smoking will develop these secondary cancers.

  • Smokeless tobacco has been linked to cancers of the cheek, gums and inner surface of the lips. Smokeless tobacco increases the risk of these cancers by nearly 50 times.7