US Insights

4 in 5 US smokers wake up and light up

Elizabeth Wilner

US Editor

Health 05.27.2016 / 19:10


The state of smoking in the US for World No Tobacco Day

World No Tobacco Day, the World Health Organization’s annual effort to urge tobacco users to abstain from smoking, is May 31. Research by Kantar Health suggests that as many as four in five American smokers may mark their first hour of World No Tobacco Day by lighting up.

Seventy-nine percent of current US smokers do so within the first 60 minutes of waking up in the morning, according to Kantar Health’s 2015 National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS).

Key Numbers

  • 46% of smokers would most hate giving up their first smoke of the day
  • 54% would most hate giving up all the others

And that first cigarette (or cigar or pipe) is a big one. Asked whether they would be more reluctant to give up their first smoke of the day, or all the others, smokers say it’s basically a jump ball: 46% would most hate giving up the first one, while 54% say they would most hate giving up all the others. Thirty-nine percent of smokers also say they smoke more frequently in the hours just after waking up than later in the day.

World No Tobacco Day isn’t exactly a well-known observance in the US, with our long history of commercial tobacco production and globally prominent tobacco industry. The 2015 NHWS shows that nearly half—45%—of American adults have smoked at one point in their lives.

Among those who have smoked, 31% currently do while another 10% say they smoke but are trying to quit and 3% say they are in the process of quitting and have stopped smoking—putting 13% at some stage of quitting. Fifty-six percent say they stopped smoking earlier. The mean number of years in which an NHWS respondent in the US smoked before quitting was 15.7.

These percentages are stable from 2014, when 46% of American adults said they had smoked at some point in their lives, an equal 13% were at some stage of quitting, and 57% said they had stopped earlier. The percentage of Americans who currently smoke also remains consistent at 18%.


Source: Kantar Health

Editor's Notes

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