Citizens for Clean Air and Clean Lungs

Centers for Disease Control Says Tobacco Control Programs Work

A study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that aggressive tobacco control campaigns are working in states such as Oregon and California, while smoking rates are rising in states with few controls, like Kentucky.

Complete report here -- transfers to CDC Web site

Figures show California had the second-lowest adult smoking rate in 1997 at 18.4 percent, which the CDC attributes to the nation's oldest anti-smoking initiative, which started in 1989. Utah, with its large Mormon population, had the lowest adult smoking rate in 1997, at 13.7 percent.

Oregon's cigarette consumption rate dropped by 11.3 percent since the state started a campaign similar to California's in 1996. In Massachusetts, where voters approved higher tobacco taxes and an aggressive media campaign in 1992, consumption dropped 20 percent between 1992 and 1996.

"What we are saying is that from what we've found in our own experience and in the shared experience, here is what works," said CDC director Dr. Jeffrey Koplan. "And we're saying here's the amount that will pay for it. It's the same approach we take with immunization against disease."

According to the study, which was presented at the National Conference on Tobacco and Health in Kissimmee, FL, each state should spend between $31 million and $83 million on health and anti-smoking programs.

In states with little or no controls on tobacco, smoking rates went up. Kentucky had both the highest adult and youth smoking rates in the nation in 1997 at 30.8 percent and 47 percent, respectively.

Amy Barkley, project manager for Kentucky Action, attributes these statistics to the lack of state tobacco control funding as well as its strong dependence on tobacco farming. "It's deplorable that we have the highest youth smoking rate, but understandable given our culture."

AP, (8/24/99) "CDC: Anti-Tobacco Campaigns Working", James Pilcher Associated Press Writer
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New York Times, (8/25/99) "Few States Are Using Settlements in Tobacco Suit to Cut Smoking", DAVID STOUT
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USA TODAY, (8/25/99) "Anti-Smoking Campaigns Help Some States Kick The Habit", James Pilcher, p. A5
WASHINGTON POST, (8/25/99) "Anti-Smoking Efforts Make A Difference", p. A6

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