The CDC researchers used the National Health Interview Survey of more than 24,000 U.S. adults to find out how many people smoke.

Nearly 24 percent of men and 18 percent of women smoked. Numbers ranged from more than 50 percent of men with a high school equivalency diploma, to 4.6 percent of Asian women. More educated people were less likely to smoke, with 6.6 percent of those with graduate degrees being smokers.

McKenna said state and federal officials are not doing everything they can to help counter the efforts of tobacco companies.

While the CDC recommends spending $1.80 per person a year in Oregon, for instance, to encourage quitting, the tobacco industry spends $3.50 per person on marketing, he said.