How Much Are MA Residents Smoking—New CDC Ranking
Monday, January 28, 2013
The Tobacco Control State Highlights 2012 report found that the median smoking rate in the U.S. was 21.2 percent across all states in 2011, with Utah coming in lowest at 11.8 percent and Kentucky with the highest rate at 29.0 percent.
The Bay State also had the 6th lowest percentage of adults who use smokeless tobacco in 2011, at just 1.7 percent of the population.
Fourteen percent of high school age youth in the Commonwealth smoked cigarettes in 2011, earning Massachusetts the rank of 8th lowest among 44 states reporting the teen smoking data.
Massachusetts was also below the national average when it came to the percentage of adults who reported being exposed to secondhand smoke within the past week, with overall exposure to secondhand smoke at 46.9 percent during 2009-2010, ranking 26th. The state has smoke-free laws in place that prohibit smoking indoors at workplaces, restaurants and bars and allows municipalities to implement their own local smoke-free laws as well.
"Even after significant progress in reducing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure in the last decade, much more work needs to be done to end the tobacco-use epidemic," said Tim McAfee, M.D. MPH, director of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.
"There is excellent research that clearly identifies what needs to be done to eliminate tobacco use. States can accelerate their efforts to save lives and reduce tobacco-related healthcare costs."
When it comes to quitting, Massachusetts ranked 17th, with 56.3 percent of Bay State smokers making a quit attempt during the past year in 2009-2010, which was higher than the national average of 55.7 percent.
"Well-designed, 'hard-hitting' countermarketing media campaigns with sufficient reach, duration, and frequency are an effective approach to decreasing the likelihood that people will begin smoking cigarettes, increasing smoking cessation, and reducing nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke," the report said.
However, according to the report, "no states were able to mount a media campaign in 2010 that fulfilled the CDC Best Practices media funding recommendation of 800 youth targeted rating points (80% of the audience reached with 10 exposures each), and only 9 states were able to meet the recommendation of 1,200 general audience gross ratings points (80% of the audi- ence reached with 15 exposures each) per quarter."
Massachusetts ranked near the bottom when it came to counter-marketing media campaigns, with zero gross rating points and zero youth target rating points earning 48th and 45th place respectively.
The Commonwealth's excise tax, on the other hand, ranked 9th among the states at $2.51 per pack. In addition, Governor Deval Patrick has proposed increasing the excise tax by $1 to $3.51 per pack in his Fiscal Year 2014 state budget.
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