Adult smoking rate edges down slightly: CDC data

September 6, 2011 - 12:10 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A new government report shows fewer U.S. adults are smoking, and those who light up are smoking fewer cigarettes daily. But the trend is weaker than the government had hoped.

Overall, about 19 percent of adults said they smoked last year, down from about 21 percent in 2005. The rate for smoking 30 or more cigarettes daily dropped to about 8 percent from almost 13 percent.

The report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention compared last year with 2005 and says the decline means 3 million fewer adults were smoking.

The recent trend has been mostly flat. CDC chief Dr. Thomas Frieden says any decline is a good step. But he also notes that you don't have to be a heavy smoker to get smoking-related diseases.