Sunday, December 29, 2013

Where Have Smoking Cessation Programs Had the Biggest Impact?

In this continuing series on health data, let's look today at smoking.

The CDC lists smoking as the #1 preventable cause of early death.  Around 40% of people who smoke will eventually develop some type of health problem related to smoking.  Thus, smoking cessation and prevention programs for decades have -successfully I might add- greatly reduced the number of Americans to smoke.

In looking at data from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) of adult health behaviors, I was curious if there were any regional differences showing where smoking cessation programs have had the biggest impact.  And it appears the answer is YES! -specifically in New England and Arizona which so the biggest percentages of people who have quit smoking.  

Let's look at the maps individually:

In every state except two, most adults have never smoked.  Only in Kentucky and West Virginia do the number of current or former smoker exceed 50% (52% each actually).  I have kept the legend values the same on these 4 maps, however, for comparison purposes.

By 2010 the number of adults who smoke daily in every state is below 1 in 5 -except in West Virginia where daily smokers exceed 20% of the population.

Interestingly, most American adults who smoke also smoke daily.  Less than 10% of American adults report they smoke but only a few days a week.

This last map shows the key differences.  People in Utah are the least likely to ever smoke.  Thus, Utah also has the lowest percentage of former smokers -because fewer people ever started smoking.  In most of the rest of the country, the percentage of former smokers is somewhere between 20-30% of the adult population.  The key exceptions are VT, NH, ME, and AZ where a larger percentage of the population has stopped smoking.  All four of these states actually had higher percentages of adults who have smoked or currently smoke but have had more success in adults quitting.


Iqbal Hossain said...

Very informative and unique tips dear. Thanks for sharing :)
Lovely Read!

Jeff Jones said...

Thank you, Iqbal!