Publication Abstract

Authors: Novotny TE, Fiore MC, Hatziandreu EJ, Giovino GA, Mills SL, Pierce JP

Title: Trends in smoking by age and sex, United States, 1974-1987: the implications for disease impact.

Journal: Prev Med 19(5):552-61

Date: 1990 Sep

Abstract: Using data from the 1974-1987 National Health Interview Surveys, we report trends in current smoking prevalence and quit ratios (the proportion of those who have ever smoked who no longer smoke) for men and women in the age groups 20-24, 25-44, 45-64, and 65 years and older. Current smoking prevalence decreased linearly for men in all age subgroups except 65 and older and for women ages 25-44 and 45-64 years only. The quit ratios increased linearly within each age/sex subgroup except for men and women ages 20-24 years. Overall, there were about 1.4 million fewer male smokers and over 1 million more female smokers in 1987 than there were in 1974. Between 1974 and 1987, the population ages 25-44 years increased by approximately 47%, and the population 65 years and older increased by approximately 34%. As a result, between 1974 and 1987, the actual number of smokers increased among men ages 25-44 years (8% increase), women ages 25-44 years (15% increase), and women ages 65 years and older (50% increase). These data suggest that even with favorable recent changes in the overall smoking prevalence of the U.S. population, the disease impact of smoking will increase for decades, especially among women. This scenario will be mitigated if increased attention is given to cessation among women in general and to the post-World War II generation of both male and female smokers.