Percentage of adults who report current smoking

PLACES Project, Centers for Disease Control.
Dashboard-City Average

Why do we measure smoking?

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S.1 Evidence consistently links smoking to a number of adverse health outcomes, including cardiovascular and lung diseases.2 Although rates of smoking have declined in recent decades, significant impacts on health remain.3 Each year, more than 480,000 people die from smoking-related diseases in the U.S., accounting for 1 of every 5 deaths.1 These deaths include non-smokers who live or work with smokers, and are thus exposed to secondhand tobacco smoke.4 The fact is there is no risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke.2

How do we measure smoking?

This metric includes adults, age 18 or older, who report smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke every day or most days.

Strengths and Limitations

Strengths of Metric

Limitations of Metric

• Smoking is a significant cause of preventable deaths in the U.S.

• Smoking does not provide detailed information about the number of people exposed to the negative health effects of secondhand smoke, such as those who live with a smoker.

• Teenagers who smoke before age 18 are not included in this metric.5

• The metric is self-reported and depends on the accuracy of the person surveyed.



Smoking is calculated by the following formula:

smoking formula

For more information on the calculation, please refer to the City Health Dashboard Technical Documentation.

Data Source

Estimates for this metric are from 2018 one year modeled PLACES Project Data (formerly 500 Cities Project) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multi-year data are available for this metric. For more information, please refer to Using Multi-Year Data: Tips and Cautions

Years of Collection

Data from 2021, 1 year modeled estimate.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States. Published December 1, 2016. Accessed July 22, 2017.

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention, Health Promotion Office on Smoking Health. Publications and Reports of the Surgeon General. In: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US); 2010.

  3. Agaku IT, King BA, Dube SR, Centers for Disease C, Prevention. Current cigarette smoking among adults - United States, 2005-2012. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014;63(2):29-34.

  4. National Cancer Institute. Secondhand Tobacco Smoke (Environmental Tobacco Smoke); prevention/risk/substances/secondhand-smoke. Updated March 20,2015. Accessed February 15, 2018.

  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trends in Current Cigarette Smoking Among High School Students and Adults, United States, 1965–2014; Updated March 30, 2016. Accessed July 22, 2017.

Last updated: July 26, 2023