Adult smoking rates in the US have dropped below 15% for the first time in history, and some are heaping the praise on vaping as a result.

Since vaping began to grow in popularity Stateside in 2009, the number of adult smokers in America has fallen by 31.6%.

Is this a coincidence? Or is it more evidence that e-cigarettes are effective as a smoking cessation tool?

According to a report published on March 18 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, the US adult smoking rate reached a new low of 14.1% for the first three quarters of 2017. Nine years ago, it was 20.6%.

E-cigarettes can now enjoy some of the hype for being responsible in helping people to live smoke-free lives. That’s the view of Colin Mendelsohn, tobacco treatment specialist and Associate Professor in the School of Public Health and Community Medicine at the University of New South Wales.

Mendelsohn tweeted, “US adult rates hit an all time low: 14.1% (Jan-Sept 2017). The population impact of becoming clearer.”

Interestingly, 2009 was also the year the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was handed the power to regulate tobacco products for the first time.

The news is welcomed by the CDC, which reminds us that smoking is still the biggest killer in the US.

“Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths.”

Framework proposed last week by the FDA to reduce the level of nicotine in cigarettes is aimed at bringing the smoking rate down as low as possible and could result in millions of lives being saved.

That proposal is now open for debate, however it could eventually see the number of adult smokers in the US drop to as low as 1.4 percent, according to commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD.

“This framework could result in more than 8 million fewer tobacco-caused deaths through the end of the century – an undeniable public health benefit.”

The data and estimates published by the CDC marks the first time the organisation has publicly recognised vaping in its role as a smoking cessation tool. These estimates are based on data collected in a National Health Interview Survey from the US Census Bureau to analyze American population trends over five decades. The National Health Interview Survey has been monitoring the health of the nation since 1957.