According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 15.2 percent of American adults smoked during January to March of this year. This is not only the lowest rate in decades, it represents the largest single-year decline in the last 18 years, almost 10 percent.

The information comes from the first quarter of the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, the main federal government source for population-smoking estimates. The early release (available here) might not perfectly predict the smoking rate for the entire year, but it is likely to be close. The smoking rate in last year’s early release was 17.1 percent and the final rate for the 2014 was even lower, at 16.8 percent.

This is headline-grabbing news, because it shows the decline in smoking may be accelerating. As I noted a few weeks ago (here and here), cigarette smoking in the United States continues an inexorable decline. Rather than impeding progress, e-cigarettes may be accelerating a smoke-free revolution.

Thanks to Gregory Conley from the American Vaping Association for the NHIS alert.

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