Percentage of adults who are smokers (self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke).




United States Smoking (1990-2015) see more
  • Percentage of population over age 18 that smokes on a regular basis.
  • Percentage of adults who are smokers (self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke).
Ranking Value State
1 9.7 Utah
2 12.8 California
3 14.1 Hawaii
4 14.4 New York
5 14.5 Texas
6 14.6 Maryland
7 14.7 Massachusetts
8 15.1 New Jersey
9 15.3 Washington
10 15.4 Connecticut
11 15.7 Colorado
12 15.9 Idaho
13 16.3 Minnesota
13 16.3 Rhode Island
15 16.4 Vermont
16 16.5 Arizona
16 16.5 Illinois
18 17 Nevada
18 17 Oregon
20 17.3 Nebraska
21 17.4 Georgia
21 17.4 Wisconsin
23 17.5 New Hampshire
24 17.6 Florida
25 18.1 Kansas
26 18.5 Iowa
27 18.6 South Dakota
28 19.1 New Mexico
28 19.1 North Carolina
30 19.3 Maine
31 19.5 Virginia
31 19.5 Wyoming
33 19.9 Alaska
33 19.9 Delaware
33 19.9 Montana
33 19.9 North Dakota
33 19.9 Pennsylvania
38 20.6 Missouri
39 21 Ohio
40 21.1 Alabama
40 21.1 Oklahoma
42 21.2 Michigan
43 21.5 South Carolina
44 22.9 Indiana
45 23 Mississippi
46 24 Louisiana
47 24.2 Tennessee
48 24.7 Arkansas
49 26.2 Kentucky
50 26.7 West Virginia


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Smoking is the prevalence of adults who smoke cigarettes regularly. It is defined as the percentage of adults who self-report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and who currently smoke. The 2015 ranks are based on self-report data from CDC’s 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Because of the 2011 change in BRFSS methodology, smoking prevalence from the 2012 Edition onward cannot be directly compared to estimates from previous years (see Methodology).

The percentage of adults who currently smoke varies from a low of 9.7% in Utah to 26.7% in West Virginia. In the United States, 18.1% of adults currently smoke, down from 19.0% in 2014.  For smoking prevalence by state and age, gender, race/ethnicity, urbanicity, income or education level, see Health Disparities within States.




Public Health Impact

Smoking has a well-documented adverse impact on overall health. It is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States; approximately 14 million major medical conditions among adults are attributed to smoking.[1] Annually, more than 480,000 people die from cigarette smoking with 41,000 deaths caused by exposure to secondhand smoke.[2] Another 10.9 million adults suffer from a serious smoking-related illness.[3] Smoking damages nearly every body organ and causes respiratory disease, heart disease, stroke, cancer, preterm birth, low birthweight, and premature death.[4] Smokers lose an average of 10 years of life because of their smoking.[5] Furthermore, smoking harms not only smokers, but also it affects non-smokers by causing respiratory infections in children and heart disease and lung cancer in adults.[6] Nearly $170 billion in direct medical expenses[7] and $156 billion in lost productivity are attributed to smoking annually in the United States.2

Smoking is a lifestyle behavior that can be influenced by support from the community and clinical intervention. Cessation, even in longtime smokers, can have profound benefits on current health status and long-term outcomes. When smokers quit, the risk of a heart attack drops sharply after just 1 year. Stroke risk can fall to about the same as a nonsmoker’s after 2 to 5 years. Risks for cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half after 5 years. And the risk for dying of lung cancer drops by half after 10 years. Those who quit before age 35 reduce their risk of premature death to almost the same level as non-smokers.6

A variety of interventions are effective for prevention and smoking cessation. Over the past several decades, policy efforts such as excise taxes and smoking bans have been effective in increasing cessation, preventing non-smokers from starting and decreasing smoking-related health problems.[8],[9] Due to the widespread negative health effects of secondhand smoke, reducing the prevalence of smoking and creating smoke-free environments can have a profound impact on communities.6 For examples of communities preventing and controlling tobacco use, see CDC’s Division of Community Health resource center. provides free, accurate, and evidence-based information and professional assistance to help support the immediate and long-term needs of smokers trying to quit.

Reducing cigarette smoking is a Healthy People 2020 leading health indicator; the target is to reduce the national prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults to 12.0%.[10]   

[1] Rostron BL, Chang CM, Pechacek TF. Estimation of cigarette smoking–attributable morbidity in the United States. JAMA Intern Med. October 13, 2014; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.5219.

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking and tobacco use: fast facts. April 15, 2015. . Accessed July 7, 2015.

[3] Rostron BL, Chang CM, Pechacek TF. Estimation of cigarette smoking-attributable morbidity in the United States. JAMA Intern. Med. 2014. Accessed October 16, 2014.

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Smoking and tobacco use. June 2, 2012. Accessed August 3, 2012.

[5]Jha P, Ramasundarahettige C, Landsman V, et al. 21st-century hazards of smoking and benefits of cessation in the United States. N. Engl. J. Med. 2013;368(4):341-50. Accessed August 11, 2014.

[6] US Department of Health and Human Services. Atlanta, GA: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Coordinating Center for Health Promotion, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2006.

[7] Xu X, Bishop EE, Kennedy SM, Simpson SA, Pechacek TF. Annual healthcare spending attributable to cigarette smoking: an update. Am J Prev Med. 2014.,%2012-10-14.pdf. Accessed July 7, 2015.

[8] Chaloupka FJ. Effectiveness of tax and price policies in tobacco control. Tob Control. 2011;20(3):235.

[9] Naiman A. Association of anti-smoking legislation with rates of hospital admission for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. CMAJ. 2010;182(8):761.

[10] Healthy People 2020. 2020 topics & objectives–objectives A-Z. US Department of Health and Human Services. . Updated March 8, 2013. Accessed October 22, 2013.