(CNN) – The number of adults in the US who smoke has declined by about 10 percent over the past 18 years, according to new government statistics from the first half of this year.
The study found that just under 15 percent of Americans currently smoke.
That’s the lowest percentage since this survey began in 1997, when nearly a quarter of US adults were smokers.
The study was released by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics.
CDC researchers said the reduction is due to smoking bans, increasing costs of cigarettes, awareness campaigns and improved access to tools that can help smokers kick the habit.
Health officials aim to see the percentage of individuals who smoke drop to 12 percent or less by the year 2020.