Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

their dominance in the market over the past decade, actually gaining market share throughout the 1990s (Bulow and Klemperer 1998). Part of the reason for this increase in market share is the effect of discounting (Bulow and Klemperer 1998). In 2003, of the $15.15 billion reportedly spent on adverting and promotion, $10.8 billion (approximately 71 percent) was allocated to price discounts paid to retailers or wholesalers. These discounts allowed for reduced prices for consumers (FTC 2005). The percentage of disposable income that smokers spent on cigarettes fell from 1993 through 1998 but rose consistently through 2002 (Capehart 2004). The effect of price on consumption is discussed in more detail in Chapter 5.


Wide-angle comparisons of measures of smoking behavior between 1965 and 2005 clearly show that the rates of tobacco consumption and smoking prevalence have declined among adults, the rate of smoking initiation has declined among adolescents, and the rate of smoking cessation has increased. However, a closer look at the trends over the past two decades tells a somewhat more complex story of both modest progress and some backsliding. For instance, although smoking prevalence has continued to decline in the new millennium, it appears that progress in some areas may now be stalling. These recent trends are examined more closely in this section.

Adult Prevalence

In 1985, nearly 30 of every 100 American adults were current smokers; by 2005, that figure had fallen to approximately 21 in 100 adults (CDC 2006b; National Center for Health Statistics 2005). That said, a closer look at the trend reveals a steep decline in the number of adults who were current smokers from 1985 through 1990, a slight increase in 1991-1992, and a relatively flat, although downward-sloping, curve from 1992 through 2005, as illustrated in Figure 1-2 (CDC 2006b; Mendez and Warner 2004; National Center for Health Statistics 2005). Moreover, although a reduction in the prevalence of adults who are current smokers occurred each year during the first half of this decade, data for 2005 reveals no change in adult prevalence from the previous year (CDC 2006b; TIPS 2006).

Data on the prevalence of smoking among men ages 25 to 64 years and women ages 35 to 64 each display a flattening of this downward-trending curve from the early 1990s through the mid-2000s for both genders (see Figures 1-5 and 1-6). Mendez and Warner were optimistic that smoking prevalence would continue to fall on course, as it had in the early 2000s, but they concluded that major reductions, such as those presented in the

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement