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Kentucky Highest in Adult Smokers

Adult Smokers Are Least Common in the U.S. Virgin Islands
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WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Sept. 27, 2007 -- Adult smokers were most common in Kentucky and rarest in the U.S. Virgin Islands last year, according to a new CDC report.

The CDC today released state-by-state statistics on the percentage of adult smokers nationwide who smoked cigarettes in 2006. The data show wide variation in the prevalence of adult smokers, including nearly a threefold gap between Kentucky and Utah (the state with the lowest percentage of adult smokers).

Here is the full list of smoking statistics. Places with the same percentage of smokers are listed together.

  1. Kentucky: 28.6%
  2. West Virginia: 25.7%
  3. Mississippi and Oklahoma: 25.1%
  4. Alaska: 24.2%
  5. Indiana: 24.1%
  6. Arkansas: 23.7%
  7. Louisiana: 23.4%
  8. Alabama and Missouri: 23.3%
  9. Tennessee: 22.6%
  10. Ohio: 22.5%
  11. Michigan: 22.4%
  12. South Carolina: 22.3%
  13. Nevada: 22.2%
  14. North Carolina: 22.1%
  15. Delaware: 21.7%
  16. Wyoming: 21.6%
  17. Iowa and Pennsylvania: 21.5%
  18. Florida: 21%
  19. Maine: 20.9%
  20. Wisconsin: 20.8%
  21. Illinois: 20.5%
  22. South Dakota: 20.4%
  23. New Mexico: 20.2%
  24. Georgia and Kansas: 20%
  25. North Dakota: 19.6%
  26. Rhode Island and Virginia: 19.3%
  27. Montana: 19%
  28. New Hampshire: 18.7%
  29. Nebraska: 18.6%
  30. Oregon: 18.5%
  31. Minnesota and New York: 18.3%
  32. Arizona, New Jersey, and Texas: 18.1%
  33. Vermont: 18%
  34. Colorado and Washington, D.C.: 17.9%
  35. Maryland and Massachusetts: 17.8%
  36. Hawaii: 17.5%
  37. Washington: 17.1%
  38. Connecticut: 17%
  39. Idaho: 16.8%
  40. California: 14.9%
  41. Puerto Rico: 12.5%
  42. Utah: 9.8%
  43. U.S. Virgin Islands: 9.1%

Data came from a nationwide telephone survey of 355,710 civilian adults not living in institutions.

Young Adult Smokers

The CDC's latest smoking includes details on young adults aged 18-35.

Why the special focus on that age group? Because people who quit smoking before age 35 "have a life expectancy similar to that of those who never smoked," the CDC states. Of course, the CDC advises people to quit smoking at any age.

Smoking prevalence rates for young adults ranged from a high of 31% in Kentucky to about 8% of those in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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