New CDC Reports Show Racial Differences in Tobacco Usage

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that although cigarette smoking has declined significantly, the use of other tobacco products – along with cigarette smoking – remains a significant public health concern.

In 2020, more than 47 million American adults used some type of tobacco product. Some 19 percent of all adults used some type of tobacco product, including more than 12 percent who smoked cigarettes. Only 5.6 percent of Americans with a bachelor’s degree and only 3.5 percent of those with a graduate degree smoked cigarettes.

There are racial differences in the use of tobacco products. In 2020, 14.4 percent of African American adults smoked cigarettes, compared to 13.3 percent of non-Hispanic White adults. (More than 27 percent of American Indian adults smoked cigarettes.)

Black Americans were more likely to smoke cigars than any other racial or ethnic group. Some 4.6 percent of Black adults smoked cigars compared to 3.8 percent of non-Hispanic White adults. Blacks were nearly twice as likely as non-Hispanic Whites to smoke tobacco in pipes.

Whites were more likely than Blacks to use e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. Some 3.4 percent of non-Hispanic White adults smoked e-cigarettes compared to just 1.6 percent of Black adults. Some 3.2 percent of non-Hispanic White adults used smokeless tobacco products. This was four times the rate of Blacks.

The report, “Tobacco Use Among Adults – United States 2020,” can be accessed here.


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