Despite the accumulation of scientific evidence and years of public education campaigns around the dangers of tobacco use, it is the number one preventable cause of death in the United States according to the CDC. One in every five deaths is related to cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke – 443,000 lives a year. The cost is staggering – reaching nearly $100 billion to treat smoking caused diseases.
The percent of adults who reported smoking in 2011 varied from a low of 11.8 percent in Utah to a high of 29 percent in Kentucky. Along with Kentucky, more than one in four adults smoke in eight other states – Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia. Nationally, 18.1 percent of adults report smoking. Youth smoking rates are lower – 13.1 nationally – with just six states posting rates of 20 percent or higher.