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Delaware Smoking Prevalence Down In 2003

Smoking prevalence decreased to 21.9% among Delaware adults in 2003, according to the Delaware Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. The percent of current cigarette smokers in 2002 was 24.6%. The prevalence stayed at about 25% of Delaware adults for the past decade. The decline in smoking occurred among women; the prevalence of male smoking remained the same.

More significantly, the prevalence of smoking among young adults (age 18-24) dropped from 36% in 2002 to 26.7% in 2003. This age group previously had the highest prevalence, and smoking among young adults had increased steadily from 1990 through 2002.

For more information on tobacco use in Delaware, go to our Tobacco Prevention and Control Program pages.

Delaware Adult Smoking Prevalence: 2003
Image: Graph of 2003 Delaware adult smoking – 16.9% daily smokers, 5% some-dayssmokers, 28.1% former smokers, and 50% never smoked.

Adult Smoking in Delaware
% Smoking-Related Behavior
21.9% Percent of adult Delawareans (age 18 and older) who are current cigarette smokers.
16.9% Percent of adult Delawareans who smoke cigarettes daily.  This is down from 19.5% in 2002.
5% Percent of adult Delawareans who smoke some days, but not every day. This has increased from 2.3% in 1995.
28.1% Percent of adult Delawareans who are former smokers. This has increased from 26.3% in 2002.
50% Percent of adult Delawareans who never smoked.
26.1% Percent of adult male smokers in Delaware.
18.1% Percent of adult female smokers in Delaware.  The prevalence decreased by 24.1% in 2002.
21.8% Percent of white, non-Hispanic adult smokers in Delaware [25.6% in 2002].
22.8% Percent of African American or black adult smokers in Delaware [25.6% in 2002]. 
21.6% Percent of Hispanic adult smokers in Delaware [18% in 2002 – not a statistically significant difference].
26.7% Percent of 18-24 year-old smokers in Delaware (down significantly from 36% in 2002). This age group has had the highest smoking prevalence, and the trend was increasing from 1990 through 2002. 16.7% of this group are every day smokers; and 10% are “some days” smokers.
33.3% Percent of Delaware adults with annual incomes under $15,000 who smoke [29.7% in 2002].
11.3% Percent of Delaware adults who use smokeless tobacco products. 4.4% say they use smokeless tobacco daily; and 6.9% say they use the products, but not every day.
75.2% Percent of adult smokers who report their doctor or health care provider advised them to quit smoking within the past year (about the same as 2002, but up significantly from 47.7% in 2000, and 69.7% in 2001).
49.9% Percent of smokers who tried to quit smoking for at least a day or more during the past year.
66.8% Percent of Delaware adults who say they do not allow smoking anywhere in their homes (up from 44.6% in 2001). 10.9% allow smoking in parts of the house; 3.9% allow smoking anywhere in their homes; and 16.9% have no rules.

County Breakdowns for 2003
Behavior State Kent New Castle Sussex
Current Smokers* 21.9% 25.1% 20.9% 22.4%
Ever Used Smokeless Tobacco 11.3% 11.4% 9.4% 16%

* includes both "every day" and "some days" smokers.

Source: Delaware Health and Social Services, Division of Public Health, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2003.