U.S. Not on Target to Reach Smoking Cessation Goals, CDC Says

Think it's tough to quit smoking? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention knows it is.

Smoking Statistics

Although most smokers now puff on fewer cigarettes each day, the percentage of Americans who smoke remains 170 percent higher than the CDC's goal to reduce smoking to 12 percent of the population by 2020.

About 1 in 5 Americans smokes, and about 1 in 23 uses smokeless tobacco, according to the Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012. About 1 in 37 had tried electronic cigarettes by 2010, according to government study quoted by Forbes.

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Want to know how your smoking habit stacks up against everyone else's?

Here are a few more smoking facts from the CDC's report:

Ethnicity, Location and Education Affect Smoking Rates

• Utah has the fewest smokers — 11.8 percent of its adults smokes. Kentucky has the most — 29 percent.
• Wyoming has the highest percentage of smokeless tobacco uses among the 50 states. Some 9.8 percent of adults in Wyoming use smokeless tobacco. At the low end, only 1.4 percent of adults in California and Rhode Island use smokeless tobacco.
• The heaviest smokers include American Indians, Alaska Natives, people who live in poverty and people who are poorly educated.
• If you are a teenager living in Utah, your odds of remaining a non-smoker are high. Slightly less than 6 percent of Utah high school students reported smoking within 30 days of the survey. In Kentucky, about 24 percent of the high school students reported smoking within a month of the survey period. Kentucky teens also use smokeless tobacco at higher rates than teens anywhere else in the U.S.
• Teens in South Carolina smoke more cigars than high school students in other states. Nearly 1 in 5 do.
• About half of the states in the country no longer allow you to smoke at work, in restaurants or in bars. Most no-smoking laws do not cover ecigs, but a few states have expanded their laws to cover them.

Many Try But Few Actually Quit Smoking

• Seven out of 10 smokers say they want to quit and about 1 in 2 try each year.
• About half of all smokers quit for at least one day in 2010, the last year for which information is available.
• There are more former smokers than smokers in the United States, and this has been true since 2002.
• About 6 in 100 smokers quit successfully in 2010.
• The CDC says that comprehensive measures are needed to increase the quit rate. Measures should include a combination of increasing the price of tobacco products, reducing tobacco advertising, controlling access to tobacco products, implementing smoke-free policies and assisting smokers to quit.

Costs of Smoking

• In the state of New York, the average pack of cigarettes costs $10.14, but a pack costs as much as $12 in some municipalities, according to an article in Daily Finance.
• Daily Finance reports that the cheapest cigarettes can be found in Missouri, where a pack sells for about $4.
• The average smoker spends about $1 in $7 of income on cigarettes. Low income workers in New York spend $1 in $4 — 25 percent — of their income on cigarettes, according to a September article in The New York Times.
• Electronic cigarettes cost less money than traditional tobacco cigarettes.