Number Of Cigarette Smokers At Record Low In Oklahoma


Friday, August 23rd 2013, 10:17 am
By: News On 6


Oklahoma has a record low number of smokers, according to the State Department of Health. The percentage of smokers has dropped from 26.1 to a record low 23.3 percent in 2012, a release states.

Smoking remains Oklahoma's leading preventable cause of death - killing more residents than alcohol, car crashes, AIDS, suicides, murders and illegal drugs combined.

"While it is fantastic to see Oklahoma out of the bottom ten states for smoking rates, we still have work to do to reduce the devastating health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke," said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline, noting that the reduction in smokers is a great milestone.

Here's how the numbers break down, according to the health department:

  • Number of adult smokers dropped by 75,000 from 2011 to 2012.
  • Number of "never smokers" increased from 49.2 percent in 2011 to 52.4 percent in 2012 (about 100,000 more).
  • Number of everyday smokers decreased from 19.9 percent in 2011 to 17 percent in 2012.
  • Number of cigarette packs sold has decreased by 5.2 percent.

Overall, the purchase of cigarettes has decreased with more than 14 million fewer cigarette tax stamps sold by the tax commission. In the past decade, that number has decreased by 100 million overall.

Last year, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline received approximately 34,000 calls from Oklahomans interested in quitting tobacco. For information on quitting tobacco, call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or register online at www.okhelpline.com.