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Smoking Isn't Falling as Fast as Officials Hoped: Report
Date:3/12/2009

CDC says more emphasis needed on tobacco-control programs

THURSDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Differences in tobacco marketing and promotion and tobacco-control programs are among the reasons why adult smoking rates are almost twofold higher in some states than others, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

About 28 percent of adults in Kentucky smoke, and 27 percent in West Virginia, compared with 14 percent of adults in California and 12 percent in Utah, the report found.

Rates of decline in adult smoking will probably be too slow in almost all states, other than Utah, to achieve the federal government's Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing adult smoking rates to 12 percent or less, the report stated. But the authors said that it might be possible to meet that objective if all states implement comprehensive, evidence-based tobacco-control programs, including expanded access to smoking cessation services, such as quit phone lines.

The findings are published in the March 13 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The analysis of data from the 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System found that adult smoking rates varied from 31.1 percent to 8.7 percent among the 50 states, District of Columbia and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Only Utah and the Virgin Islands met the goal of 12 percent or less.

In 2007, nearly 20 percent of adults in the United States were smokers. Among states and the District of Columbia, smoking rates were highest in Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma (26 percent) and lowest in Utah, California and Connecticut (15.5 percent). The smoking rate was 31 percent in Guam, 12 percent in the U.S. Virgin Islands and 9 percent in Puerto Rico.

Median smoking rates ranged from 15 percent to 29 percent for men and 8 to 28 percent for women. In 30 states, the Distr
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