A new report from the CDC this week showed that the smoking rate across the US has stayed flat at about 20% over the last 5 years. Not so in Arizona, where we’ve decreased from 20% in 2005 to 16% in 2009, according to our latest BRFS report. As is the case across the country, the folks in Arizona that make the least amount of money are the most likely to smoke, which is why we’ve focused our tobacco prevention and cessation (quitting) efforts on that demographic- with aggressive targeted marketing, quitline services (including quit coaches) and by paying AHCCCS (using our voter-protected tobacco control funds) to cover medicine to help people succeed. We also think that our youth prevention campaign and the implementation of the Smoke Free Arizona Act in 2007 are factors that have helped us buck the national trend.
Arizona Breaking Through the National Smoking Trend
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I cannot believe smoking rates are still as high as 20%, but it’s a credit to everybody involved that we have been able to get them down as low as 16% in Arizona.
Are there any estimates as to how much money is saved due to the decrease in smoking in the health sector? If so I wonder how that compares to taxes lost from cigarette sales.
In 1965 almost ½ of Americans smoked- so we’ve come a long way since that first Surgeon General’s Report. But we still have a long way to go especially for lower income folks. Cigarette smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality in the United States. The negative health consequences of cigarette smoking have been well-documented and include cardiovascular disease, multiple cancers, pulmonary disease, adverse reproductive outcomes, and exacerbation of other chronic health conditions. Cigarette smoking causes approximately 443,000 premature deaths in the United States annually and $193 billion in direct health-care expenditures and productivity losses because of premature mortality each year.