A new research has pointed out that smoking trends over the last thirty years have shown a steady decline.
The Minnesota Heart Survey, a population-based, serial cross-sectional study of trends in cardiovascular risk factors, included between 3,000 and 6,000 participants in each of its six surveys. Examining the smoking trends in adults 25 to 74 years old in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area from 1980 to 2009, researchers found:
1. The number of current smokers was cut in half, decreasing from 32.8 percent to 15.5 percent in men and from 32.7 percent to 12.2 percent in women, with greater decreases among adults with higher income and more education.
2. Current smokers were smoking less. The age-adjusted average number of cigarettes smoked per day decreased from 23.5 to 13.5 in men and 21.1 to 10.0 in women.
3. Men continued to start smoking regularly at an average age of just under 18 years over the study period.
4. While women have also decreased cigarette use, the age they start smoking regularly has dropped from 19 to just under 18.
"One interesting finding was the differences in the subgroups. Individuals with more education had much greater decreases in smoking than those with less education," said Kristian B. Filion at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
The study didn't address the impact of legislative changes such as increases in cigarette taxes.
There also needs to be a focus on younger women because societal changes and advertising may be having a negative influence, he said.
"We need to have a better grasp on designing specific interventions for specific groups. A one-size-fits-all approach to stop smoking may not be as successful in some groups."
The research was presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2010.