CDC Reports: Smoking Rates Down in 2015

As new and better vaping and e-cigarette products continue to come on the market, experts, safety advocates, consumers and others are asking how this is affecting smoking rates. Now, there’s evidence that traditional tobacco smoking is at new lows.

A 2015 National Health Interview Survey shows that about 15% of American adults smoked during the first quarter of 2015. This represents an unprecedented low rate of smokers, and the biggest single year decline in nearly two decades. By contrast, 2014 numbers were closer to 25%.

This isn’t just any study either — the survey is a significant source for federal government statistics. That’s why people are talking about the release of this information, and what it shows about the real ways that we’re tackling smoking as a health issue.

The Role of Vaping and E-cigarette Products

There’s a lot of controversy about vaping and e-cigarette products. FDA approvals may be slow, and there may be blowback from critics of the industry. There’s debate about whether vaping and e-cigarette products have any particular health risks, and whether they present a danger on the market. What’s less controversial is the somewhat established idea that, despite any health risks that vaping and e-cigarettes may have, their use is much less dangerous than traditional cigarette smoking.

By that same token, there are a lot of studies done into just how often vaping and e-cigarette products allow traditional smokers to quit or cut back. That’s one of the big questions affecting the vaping industry — what percentage of users have moved from traditional cigarettes to vaping products and e-cigarettes? And how does this affect our collective health? From those conducting workplace wellness programs, to experts crunching the numbers on federal surveys, it becomes clear that with any significant use of vaping and e-cigarette to wean people off of cigarettes, the products are contributing to these huge advances in national health. It’s established that any smoking cessation at all will lower the rates of deadly cancers and reduce health care costs significantly. And there’s the intuitive understanding among consumers that you can use vaping and e-cigarette products as a convenient, comfortable way to wean yourself off of cigarettes. We understand the interplay between the addiction to nicotine and the psychological addiction of holding something in your hand, taking smoking breaks, and otherwise maintaining the culture and habits that go along with traditional cigarette smoking.

The newest numbers are good news for the country, and good news for the vaping and e-cigarette industry, because they indicate that as part of a greater strategy of smoking cessation, the allowance of vaping and e-cigarette products on the market is working to improve health outcomes.