Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

November 17, 2011

Kentucky has highest percentage of smokers


CNHI News Service

— The state with the highest percentage of smokers is Kentucky, where 29 percent of people admit to lighting up regularly, according to data collected by Gallup and Healthways in the first half of 2011.

On the other end of the spectrum, the state of Utah has the lowest percentage of smokers, where just 11 percent of the population smokes.

States with highest rates (above 25 percent)

Kentucky, 29 percent

Missouri, 26 percent

Oklahoma, 26 percent

Louisiana, 26 percent

Mississippi, 26 percent

Arkansas, 26 percent

Ohio, 26 percent

Tennessee, 25 percent

Alabama, 25 percent

West Virginia, 25 percent

Indiana, 25 percent

States with lowest rates (below 20 percent)

Utah, 11 percent

California, 15 percent

Hawaii, 16 percent

North Dakota, 17 percent

Massachusetts, 17 percent

Minnesota, 17 percent

New Hampshire, 17 percent

Idaho, 18 percent

New Jersey, 18 percent

Oregon, 18 percent

Vermont, 18 percent

Connecticut, 18 percent

Washington, 19 percent

Maryland, 19 percent

Kansas, 19 percent

District of Columbia, 19 percent

Virginia, 19 percent

New York, 19 percent

The data was collected from January through June of this year, based on 177,600 interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The results are a preliminary picture of 2011 state-by-state smoking rates; the full-year data will be available in early 2012.

The study’s release coincided with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on Thursday, in which smokers are urged to quit. The 2011 findings show that nationwide, 21 percent of all Americans say they smoke, and that number has gone unchanged since Gallup and Healthways started tracking smoking habits in 2008.