There is plenty of good news in the latest statistics on smoking released last week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but that doesn’t mean Americans cannot and should not do better.

The proportion of adults who smoke was 17.8 percent in 2013, the lowest level since the 1964 ground-breaking surgeon general’s report, the first loud alarm about the deadly effects of cigarettes.

Smoking’s popularity has fallen by more than half since 1965, when 52 percent of men and 34 percent of women were regular cigarette smokers, compared to last year’s rate of 20.5 percent among men and 15.3 percent among women.

The results of the National Health Interview Survey, an in-person report compiled each year, found other positive developments in 2013. People who still smoke are smoking less. In 2005, 80.8 percent of smokers said they lit up every day; last year, that was true of 76.9 percent of smokers. The daily users also puffed on fewer cigarettes per day – 14.2 versus 16.7 in 2005.

Attaining that low threshold will require a double-barreled approach –lots of smokers will have to give up the habit and a concerted effort will have to be made to stop young people from picking it up.