Adult Smoking Rates Remain The Same

In National News, State News on November 13, 2009 at 9:59 am

The Friday, November 13, 2009 issue of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) announces the 33rd Anniversary of the Great American Smokeout to be observed Thursday, November 19, 2009.

The MMWR also contains articles entitled “Cigarette Smoking Among Adults and Trends in Smoking Cessation – United States, 2008” and “State- Specific Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults – Untied States, 2008.”

Cigarette Smoking Among Adults-United States, 2008 (NHIS)

The rate of adult smoking shows little to no change over the past five years and represents 46 million U.S. adults who were current smokers in 2008.  

According to 2008 National Health Interview Survey data analyzed by CDC, the smoking rate of adults in the United States remained virtually unchanged from 2007 to 2008 at 19.8 percent and 20.6 percent, respectively. 
Adults 25 years of age or older with a GED had the highest prevalence of smoking (41.3 percent) and the lowest quit ratio (39.9 percent).

State- Specific Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults – Untied States, 2008 (BRFSS)

Among states, smoking prevalence was highest in West Virginia (26.6 percent), Indiana (26.1 percent), and Kentucky (25.3 percent) and lowest in Utah (9.2 percent), California (14.0 percent), and New Jersey (14.8 percent).

There are 26 states that have adult prevalence rates at or below the U.S. average of 18%.  These states have one or two important factors in common:

  • cigarette taxes higher than $2.00 (the national average is $1.32)
  • statewide comprehensive smoke-free air law 

Of these 26 states:

  • 21 states have a comprehensive state smoke free air law.
  • 12 states have cigarettes taxes of $2.00 or more.
  • 12 states have BOTH smoke free air AND high taxes (>/= $2.00).

Conversely, the ten highest smoking states have low taxes (< $1.00) and no statewide smoke-free air policy.  Indiana is one of these ten states with high prevalence rates.

The CDC states, “to effectively combat the tobacco-use epidemic and reduce smoking rates nationwide, we must protect people from secondhand smoke, increase the price of tobacco, and support aggressive anti-tobacco campaigns that will reduce smoking and save lives.”

Expanding smoke-free policies and encouraging homes that are smoke-free are essential to reducing smoking prevalence and exposure to secondhand smoke. In 2008, the percentage of people in 11 states (including Indiana) and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) who reported that smoking was not allowed anywhere inside their home, the median was 78.1 percent.  Indiana’s rate was 69.9 percent reporting a smoke free home policy.  Workplace exposure was reported at 10.5 percent in Indiana and the median was 8.6 percent.


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