Ohio Smoking Rate Still One of the Highest, Despite Numbers Dropping Nationally


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Cigarette smoking rates may be declining in the United States, but Ohioans continue to light up in numbers well above the national average.

As reported by the Akron Beacon Journal, the Centers for Disease Control recently revealed that about 14 percent of the U.S. population reported smoking last year, down from 15.5 percent in 2016. However, about the same number of Ohio adults admit to smoking over the last two years, 22.5 percent, despite the known health risks.

Each year, cigarette smoking kills about 480,000 Americans, including 41,000  from second-hand smoke, according to the CDC. Smoking-related illness in the United States also costs billions of dollars in health care and lost productivity.

Even more troubling, the National Center for Health Statistics also released a report earlier this year showing that 14.4 percent of women pregnant in the Buckeye state smoked tobacco, a rate higher than most other states. Smoking while pregnant can lead to premature birth, low birth weights and a slew of other health issues.

Education and income levels have a major influence on whether a person will smoke or not, the CDC says. None of these statistics include rates of e-cigarette use, which continues to grow in popularity, especially among teens and young adults.

In order to combat these numbers, the Ohio Department of Health continues to fund its anti-smoking campaigns, while many cities, including Akron and Cleveland, have raised the age a person can buy cigarettes from 18 to 21. 

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