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FIGURE 1-10 Daily per capita consumption of cigarettes among adults ages 18 and over, 1985 to 2004.

SOURCE: Calculations based on figures from ALA, 2006.

adults has decreased more than 48 percent since 1985, although it has declined unevenly from year to year, with annual changes ranging from 0.75 percent between 1994 and 1995 to 7.9 percent between 1998 and 1999 (following the Master Settlement Agreement and price increases) (ALA 2006) (see Figure 1-10).


Recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) on smoking initiation rates6 among adolescents (ages 12–17 years) reveal a striking decline from 1996 through 2005. As suggested earlier, however, this recent decline must be seen in the context of the significant increases in initiation rates among youth that occurred in the early 1990s (see Figure 1-4). Thus, what might initially appear to be a sign of dramatic recent progress merely signals only slight reductions in smoking initiation rates among youth over the past decade. In 2001, for example, the smoking initiation rate was 115.3 per 1,000 youth, almost equal to the rate in 1992.


NSDUH defines initiation as the percentage of nonsmokers who initiated cigarette use (sometimes referred to as “first use”) within the past 12 months.

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