Up in Smoke

Anyone have a light? In Arizona, the answer just might be no. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests Arizonans aren’t lighting up the way they used to….not by a long shot.

From KTAR-News Radio:

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show 14 percent of Arizona adults smoke. That’s down from 19.3 percent in 2011.

The Arizona Department of Health Services said that translated to more than 200,000 smokers who have quit in the past five years.

According to a Tucson News Now interview with Judith Gordon, Ph.D., a researcher and a professor in the department of family and community medicine at the University of Arizona, state policy may be one of the keys behind the falling numbers.

“When you increase the price of cigarettes, it’s one of the most effective methods for getting people to reduce their use of cigarettes,” she said crediting the rise in tobacco taxes.

Gordon also credited more businesses leaning towards smoke-free work places.
“When you don’t see people smoking around you, you’re less likely to smoke as well,” she explained.

KJZZ Radio in Phoenix quoted Arizona Health Services Department (ADHS) Director Cara Christ as saying her department puts a lot of effort into time, energy and resources into trying to convince Arizonans not to smoke. “Tobacco control is one of the state’s highest health priorities, because of the health impacts that it has,” Christ said. “It impacts the state’s cancer rates. It impacts heart disease. It impacts cardiovascular disease and stroke.”

ADHS offers a helpline to Arizonans who are trying to quit. You can learn more by going to The ASHLine.

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., so these new numbers are a great indication that our state is heading in the right direction. Let us know what you think we can do to cut the smoking rates even more. The closer we work together on the health issues that affect the people of our state, the sooner we can reach our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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