Adult Smoking Rates Decline
The number of adult state residents who smoke cigarettes has decreased by 33% since 1988 -- the year voters approved a 25-cent-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund an anti-smoking campaign -- according to a survey released Wednesday, the AP/Los Angeles Daily News reports.
Officials from the Department of Health Services interviewed 8,000 people for the survey and found that 15.4% of adults surveyed smoked last year, compared with 16.2% in 2003. About 12% of women surveyed smoked in 2004, compared with almost 19% of men. In 1988, almost 23% of adults surveyed reported smoking.
In 2004, smoking rates were highest among 18 to 24 year olds, about 18% of whom reported smoking. In 2003, about 22% of those in the same age group reported smoking.
Public Health Officer Richard Jackson said, "Every year, more Californians are making the commitment to live tobacco-free. Our messages about the dangers of tobacco use, secondhand smoke and the tobacco industry's misleading marketing practices are resonating with all Californians" (AP/Los Angeles Daily News, 4/21).