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Cigarette Smoking Prevalence and Policies in 50 States: An Era of Change: RWJF chartbook chronicles achievements and remaining challenges in preventing tobacco use

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Abstract:

This chartbook, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Bridging the Gap, an RWJF-funded, nationally recognized research program, presents state and national data on tobacco prevalence, policies implemented to diminish that prevalence, and programs and policies to help smokers quit. The chartbook shows that significant progress has been made in reducing tobacco use in the United States, but it also shows that much work remains to be done to end a tobacco epidemic that continues to cause significant death and disease, especially in places not protected by proven tobacco control measures.

With its extensive analysis of tobacco prevention and control strategies throughout the country and a comprehensive examination of current tobacco usage patterns, the chartbook serves as a primary source of information for tobacco prevention policymaking and further research prioritizing.

Key findings from the report include:

* Substantial progress was made in reducing cigarette smoking in the United States from 1992/1993 to 2006/07, with the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults declining from 24.5 percent to 18.5 percent.
* A wide variation in smoking prevalence exists by state, For example, among 18- to 29-year-olds, prevalence was 2.5 times higher in Kentucky (36.2%) than in California (14.4%).
* States making the most progress in reducing smoking appear to have proportionately fewer “hard-core” smokers. In 2006/07, smokers living in states where cigarette smoking was lowest were less likely to exhibit indicators of nicotine dependence than were smokers living in states where smoking was higher. Smokers living in low-prevalence states were more interested in quitting, more motivated to quit and more confident in their ability to quit than were smokers in high-prevalence states.
* Between 1992/93 and 2006/07, the percentage of U.S. adults living in smoke-free homes increased by 84 percent, from 43.1 percent in 1992/93 to 79.1 percent in 2006/07.
* In 1992/93 only 46.1 percent of indoor workers reported having a smoke-free policy at work. In 2006/07, 75 percent of indoor workers had a smoke-free policy in their workplace.
* Across all states, cigarette excise tax revenues increased from $10.35 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2002 (adjusted to April 2008 dollars) to an estimated $15.25 billion in FY 2007, an increase of 47 percent.
* By 2006/07, in 34 states and Washington, DC, more than 50 percent of those who had ever smoked cigarettes had quit.