'Significant' Drop In Wisconsin's Smoking Rate, American Lung Association Director Says
Smoking rates across the country remained relatively steady in 2014; however, it did go down in some states, including Wisconsin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
"Wisconsin actually experienced a drop from 2013, where the smoking rate was 18.7 percent to 17.4 — which is statistically significant," Pat McKone, Midwest director for the American Lung Association, said.
Minnesota's smoking rate was even lower at 14 percent. The report found tobacco use varied depending on gender and race. Use of cigarettes or chew was higher among Wisconsin men, and 30 percent of the state's African-Americans used smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
"Even though we're making progress and the rates are going down overall, in certain populations such as African-Americans, or American Indians or those with mental illness or substance use disorders, we're seeing a disproportional amount of cigarette use," McKone said.
Even though overall smoking rates have been declining in recent years, tobacco still has a major impact on health, she said.
"Tobacco is still the number one cause of death in Wisconsin and the United States," McKone said. Heart disease followed by cancer are the top causes of death in Wisconsin, and both are linked to smoking.
"And there is more to do, and we need to work together to find these disparities, to address the disparities and continue to work with youth prevention," McKone said.
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