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The Nation : Lowest Smoking Rate Since ’44 Reported

Cigarette smoking has declined to its lowest level since 1944. In a new Gallup survey, 27% of American adults report having smoked cigarettes during the week prior to being interviewed. Until this year, smoking had never dropped below the 30% mark. Last year 32% identified themselves as smokers. However, the trend toward lower rates of consumption--that is, the tendency of smokers to consume fewer cigarettes per day--appears to have halted. Between 1977 and 1987, the proportion smoking more than one pack of cigarettes a day fell from 27% to 18%, while those reporting consumption of less than a pack edged upward, from 38% to 48%. Currently, 39% say they smoke less than a pack; another 39%, one pack; and 20% more than a pack, almost identical to the figures reported in last year’s poll. The results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,250 adults conducted May 15-18.


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