Report: California’s Adult Smoking Rate Dropped by 50% Since 1988
The percentage of California adults who smoke has been cut by more than half since the state launched its Tobacco Control Program in 1988, according to a report by the state Department of Public Health, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
Details of Anti-Smoking Efforts
The report noted that the state raised its cigarette tax twice since 1988, and smoking rates dropped after both tax increases. California also has implemented television ads and other media campaigns warning against smoking.
According to the report, the rate of adults in the state who smoked fell from 23.7% in 1988 to 11.7% in 2013 -- the second lowest rate in the country that year.
However, the report found disparities in smoking rates based on:
- Gender; and
For example, the report found that while men and women smoked at similar rates in 1988, the rate was 15.1% among men and 8.5% among women in 2013. In addition:
- American Indians and blacks in the state were the most likely to smoke, while Asian-Americans were the least likely;
- Californians with incomes below the federal poverty level were more likely to smoke, compared with those with higher incomes;
- Residents with bachelor's or postgraduate degrees were less likely to smoke, compared with those with lower levels of education; and
- Smoking rates were higher in lower-income counties.
Meanwhile, the report found that smoking rates among high school students dropped along with the rates among adults.
However, the use of electronic cigarettes increased significantly, particularly among individuals between ages 18 and 24, according to the report (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 9/29).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.