Data: Adult smoking continues downward trend, vaping remains nearly unchanged

Both nationally and in Minnesota more and more adults are quitting smoking, according to the latest data.

The Minnesota Department of Health says in 2018, 15.1% of Minnesotans reported smoking, but in 2020 that number had decreased to 13.8% — a downward trend that mirrors the national one (which decreased from 21.2% in 2011 to 15.5% in 2020).

However, adult e-cigarette use — also known as vaping — remains nearly unchanged, with 4.9% of Minnesotan adults reporting current use in 2020, similar to 5% in 2018.

Although more are reporting they’ve already quit, fewer are reporting trying to kick the habit.

Both nationally and in Minnesota, more and more adults are quitting smoking, but the popularity of vaping remains nearly unchanged.

Nearly half of all Minnesotan adult smokers reported trying to quit in the past year (50.5%), but more reported they were trying in 2018 (54.9%).

Subgroups that reported smoking at higher rates included those who identify as American Indian (42.0%), gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (17.1%) and Black (15.9%). Those reporting poor mental health (26.3%), low income (23.6%), and low education (21.5%) also reported smoking at higher rates. 

Targeted advertising and marketing toward these communities by the tobacco industry, "is a likely contributor to why these individuals are more likely to start smoking and less likely to quit successfully," according to multiple studies cited in the data.

Many people who use tobacco want to quit, and free help is available to all Minnesotans.