Increased cigarette taxes, workplace smoking bans and state-based prevention efforts are the main reasons for the decline, said Dr. Corinne Husten, acting director of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health. . . smoking rates were highest among American Indians and Alaska Natives. They also were higher among men than women, higher among people living below the poverty level, and higher among people with no more than a high school degree than among those with graduate degrees.
The highest smoking prevalence was reported in Kentucky (27.6 percent), West Virginia (26.9 percent) and Oklahoma (26.1 percent). The lowest rates were in Utah (10.5 percent), California (14.8 percent) and Idaho (17.5 percent).
The stated public health goal in the United States is 12% by 2010, but this is unlikely to be reached.
I've never liked the smell of cigarette smoke (or the idea of smoking), but ever since the anti-smoking initiative passed here in Washington, I've gotten a weird nostalgia feeling every time I get a whiff of second-hand smoke.
But then I recall my vacation in Turkey and Greece this spring and remember how much I hate being forced to breath that poison.
Still, though, I believe it (no smoking in bars, etc.) could have been solved with simple vote-with-your-feet capitalism. Oh well. Fewer Americans needing health care.
In the words of Professor Farnsworth, "Good news, everyone!"
Better tweaks to capitalism, like often privately imposed workplace smoking bans, and cigareet taxes, and persausion based efforts like government spending to urge people to quit, than the destructive prohibition approach we've chosen to take with other vices.
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