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Samantha Felix Samantha Felix

Graphic: Watch the US Quit Smoking Over 40 Years

Decades of dramatic change in one mesmerizing GIF.

6 Substance

There was a time, in the not-so-distant past, when America really was the land of the cigarette. Between 1950 and 1980, studies show that the average American smoked 125 packs of cigarettes a year. That’s a lot of cigs. Thankfully, that number has been more than cut in half over the past three decades, as the average has dropped to around 46 packs a year per capita. In part this massive reduction is a result of higher taxes and extensive public education. Metric Map created this fascinating interactive map (below) illustrating the US decline in smoking over the decades (the data is pulled from the Federation of Tax Administrators’ annual report on the tax burden of tobacco). While progress has been made, some states still haven’t jumped on the No Smoking bandwagon—residents of Kentucky, West Virginia, and New Hampshire on average smoke 90 packs per person per year.