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Smoking Still Takes a Heavy Toll in U.S., CDC Finds
Date:1/25/2013

tes' implementation of tobacco-control programs.

Overall, the picture is not encouraging.

States have billions to create policies that discourage smoking, collected from tobacco taxes and tobacco industry legal settlements. However, overall, states only use a small portion of these funds for anti-smoking programs, the CDC stated.

In 2013 alone, states will collect $25.7 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements, but plan to use less than 2 percent of that to develop programs that deter smoking, according to the agency.

Meanwhile, the cost of smoking-related illnesses approaches nearly $96 billion a year, and another $97 billion is lost in productivity each year, the report notes.

Other highlights of the Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012 report include:

  • Utah has the fewest smokers (about 12 percent), and Kentucky the most (29 percent).
  • Across all states, about 21 percent of residents smoke.
  • Among high school students, about 18 percent smoke.
  • 26 states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive smoke-free laws that ban smoking in restaurants, bars and workplaces.
  • 24 states have inadequate smoke-free laws.
  • Kentucky, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming have no laws to protect residents from secondhand smoke.
  • Cigarette taxes average $1.34 a pack nationally, ranging from $4.35 in New York to 17 cents in Missouri.
  • No states implemented CDC recommendations for smoking-cessation campaigns in 2010.

Health advocates hope that state legislators take note of the findings.

"As state legislatures convene across the country, the CDC report is a timely reminder both that tobacco use remains a huge public health problem and that it is an entirely winnable battle if elected officials implement proven strategies that prevent kids from smoking and help smokers quit," said Danny McGoldrick, vice president of the Ca
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