Cigarette smoking is a nasty habit that has been around for centuries. Thanks to the massive efforts both from the government and non-government organizations and charities – more and more people are encouraged to quit after learning about the harmful effects of smoking on their health. In fact, there has been a decline in the smoking rates in America in the past years.
Still, in some states, the prevalence of cigarette smoking as well as smoking-related diseases remains high. Here are 10 states that are still addicted to smoking:
About 27% of people in Arkansas smoke compared with just over 20% nationwide. And according to latest surveys, only about 3% manage to quit each year.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in Alabama, nearly 23% of kids in grades 9-12 were smokers. As a way to curb such alarming trend, several colleges have restricted tobacco use on campuses, including Troy University, Miles College, and Auburn University. Nevertheless, smokers are still allowed to light up in restaurants, bars, workplaces and many other venues.
Tobacco production is an important industry in Kentucky, which along with North Carolina, generates two-thirds of the nation’s tobacco harvest. In 2012 Kentucky farmers grew about 150 million pounds of tobacco. While people aren’t likely to smoke if they live in a tobacco-producing state, in Kentucky, people seem to play their share of helping local tobacco producers keep their business by smoking more. Kentucky has the country’s second-highest adult smoking rate and smoking-related death rate.
This state is known for its love of partying and drive-through liquor stores. And study after study shows that people who drink alcohol are more likely to smoke. Despite multiple attempts, State Senator Rob Marionneaux has been unable to win support for his proposed ban on smoking in Louisiana bars.
Mississippi is one of the only two states in the US that doesn’t restrict cigarette use in childcare facilities, although they banned smoking in government buildings and college campuses. Antismoking groups tried to appeal for the banning of tobacco use in restaurants and non-government buildings but they didn’t win. Opponents argued that the government shouldn’t tell private businesses how to operate.
Missouri is among the states that put little taxes on cigarettes which is $0.17 per pack. In this state, a pack of cigarettes only costs, on average, $4.50. According to the research by CDC, A 10% price hike can reduce the amount of cigarettes consumed by about 4%.
The rates of smoking and smoking-related deaths are very high in this state, and very few are quitting. As the birthplace of the original Marlboro Man, Oklahoma has made very little contributions in the battle against smoking.
Here, only about 2% quit smoking each year. Apart from the absence of smoking restrictions in restaurants, bars, private work sites, and retail stores, South Carolina also has very low tax which is $0.57.
This state is ranked as among the worst in the number of packs sold per capita and the rate of smoking-related deaths by the Volunteer. In 2007, state spending for smoking cessation and other control programs was the third lowest, at only 3%, which is way below the CDC recommendations.
Most adults in West Virginia smoke. On average, a smoker in this state buys 113 packs a year, compared to just 23 packs a smoker in Washington, D.C buys.