Gallup poll shows smoking rates at 70-year low

August 23, 2012 4:50:01 AM PDT
A new poll shows the percentage of Americans who smoke has dropped to a 70-year low.

The Gallup poll shows just 20 percent of Americans say they have smoked a cigarette in the past week, tying the previous low set in 2009.

That's way down from the smoke-filled 1950s, when 45 percent of Americans were lighting up.

The decline in smoking took hold in the early 70s and 80s.

Smoking leveled at roughly 25 percent for much of the 90s, but it has inched steadily lower over the past decade.

Gallup says the steepest declines are among 18- to 29-year-olds, less-educated adults and in the eastern and western parts of the country.

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