notobacco

New CDC Report Highlights Tobacco Control Progress In Indiana

In State News on April 26, 2010 at 10:10 am

INDIANAPOLIS – Following on the heels of a newly-released assessment by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) involving the progress made by state tobacco control programs, Indiana health officials today pointed to the “…promising trends” that have been made in the Hoosier state and pointed to a historic new low in adult smoking rates.

According to the Indiana State Department of Health, there has been a highly significant downward trend in adult smoking rates in Indiana between 2001-2009.

State health officials report newly finalized 2009 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance Program (BRFSS) data show the smoking rate for Hoosier adults dropped from 26 percent in 2008 to 23.1 percent in 2009.

Although the change between 2008 and 2009 is not considered statistically significant, the new adult smoking prevalence is the lowest adult smoking rate since the BRFSS began gathering data on Hoosiers.

“Under the leadership of Gov. Daniels and his INShape Indiana health initiative, our state has become highly focused on the importance of improving the health of Hoosiers, with a greater emphasis on nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco use.  As a result, we have implemented some important strategies to reduce tobacco use in recent years, and the data is telling us it is working,” said Indiana State Health Commissioner Greg Larkin, M.D.

The report, entitled Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010, outlines several key measures of tobacco control programs, including smoking prevalence, cigarette excise tax rates, smoke-free air laws, and counter-marketing media campaigns. The report is based on 2008 data, so does not include the recently finalized 2009 BRFSS data. Studies show when states concentrate on a combination of high-impact, proven strategies — particularly smoke-free laws and higher cigarette prices — tobacco use can be cut substantially. The price of cigarettes in Indiana was increased in 2007.  Since then, cigarette consumption has dropped nearly 25 percent.

Karla Sneegas, executive director, Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation (ITPC), said the new 2009 adult smoking rate validates the hard work of the state’s tobacco control program and the progress achieved by its local and state partners committed to ending tobacco use.

“Seeing this decrease in adult smoking, especially during a time of economic hardship, is very promising,” said Sneegas.  “ITPC’s community-based commitment to policy change in Hoosier communities, together with our outreach directly to smokers through the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, are high impact strategies that are delivering results.”

Nationally, smoking rates have stalled. In the 1990s, the nation experienced significant declines in smoking rates among adults and youth, but those declines have stalled since 2004. 

CDC’s State Highlights report uses consistent state-specific data to measure tobacco control progress in all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) and allows states to compare their efforts. The report is designed to address the public health impact of smoking and draw attention to the concentrated emphasis needed to end the tobacco use epidemic.

According to CDC Director Thomas R.  Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. “Smoke free laws, hard-hitting ads, and higher cigarette prices are among our strongest weapons in this fight against tobacco use.  We must redouble efforts to bring down smoking rates, prevent suffering and premature death, and cut health care costs by reducing smoking.”

Sneegas said that the key to making further progress is tied to Indiana’s need to implement these strategies, as outlined by the CDC, including protecting all workers from secondhand smoke and providing the free services of the Indiana Tobacco Quitline services to every smoker who is ready to quit.

For tobacco users who are ready to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW. For an online version of the Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010, visit CDC’s Office and Smoking and Health at www.cdc.gov/tobacco.

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