Trends and Differences in the Incidence and Mean Age of Starting to Smoke Cigarettes Regularly, National health Interview Survey, 1997-2018

CDC recently released this tobacco-related article in the journal, Public Health Reports.

Surveillance of cigarette smoking behavior provides for evaluating the impact of current tobacco control measures.  This study examined temporal changes and demographic differences in the incidence and mean age of starting to smoke cigarettes regularly in the United States among adults born between 1950 and 1999.

The use of nicotine-containing products can harm the developing brain and increase susceptibility to addiction among adolescents.  An early age of starting cigarette smoking is associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality, educational disparities, and smoking more cigarettes later in life.  The current study found that the incidence of starting to smoke cigarettes regularly decreased dramatically at all ages during the study period, which suggests a positive impact of current tobacco control measures.  However, the adjusted mean age of starting to smoke cigarettes regularly was approximately 18 years and changed little across survey years.  Differences in smoking incidence by demographic characteristics suggest that additional opportunities exist to further reduce the incidence of starting to smoke cigarettes regularly.

The article is online at:


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