States Vary in Implementation of Smoking Reduction Policies

(HealthDay News) – The prevalence of smoking and the implementation of combined interventions to reduce smoking vary between states, according to a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To provide tobacco control programs in the 50 states and the District of Columbia with valid and reliable data about strategies that are or could be implemented and to allow states to track their progress, researchers from the CDC have produced state-specific data on tobacco control.

According to the report, among adults, 2011 state-specific smoking prevalence ranged from 11.8% in Utah to 29% in Kentucky, with a median adult smoking prevalence of 21.2%. In 2011, the current cigarette smoking prevalence for high school students ranged from 5.9% in Utah to 24.1% in Kentucky, and was 18.1% nationally; the prevalence was lowest among non-Hispanic Asians and was highest among males and in the 12th grade. Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia have passed comprehensive smoke-free laws, but 24 states provide inadequate protection from secondhand smoke exposure, six of which have no statewide smoke-free policies in place. As of June 30, 2012, the national median for state cigarette taxes was $1.34 and ranged from $0.17–$4.35 per pack. None of the states mounted a media campaign in 2010 that fulfilled the CDC Best Practices media funding recommendation.

“Combined interventions – increasing the price of tobacco products, implementing smoke-free policies, implementing mass media advertising campaigns, restricting tobacco advertising and promotion, controlling access to tobacco products, and promoting and assisting smokers to quit – are proven to significantly reduce smoking,” the authors write.

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