Nearly 25% of Arkansas adults are cigarette smokers

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 500 views 

About 15% of the U.S. adult population are cigarette smokers, and Arkansas has the third highest percentage of those who smoke, according to research compiled by Vapourlites.com.

In 2015, about 15 of every 100 U.S. adults were smokers, meaning they’ve smoked at least 100 cigarettes and were smoking some days or daily, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States and accounts for more than 480,000 deaths annually.

In Arkansas, 24.9% of adult residents smoke, according to Vapourlites.com. “It has the highest rate of cigarette-linked cancer death among men, lung cancer being the highest.” Kentucky and West Virginia have the highest and second-highest smoking rates, at 25.9% and 25.7%, respectively. Utah (9.1%), California (11.7%) and Connecticut (13.5%) have the lowest, second-lowest and third-lowest smoking rates, respectively.

Arkansas has a “moderate tax” of $1.15 per pack, which is 60 cents higher than Kentucky and 55 cents more than West Virginia, but lower than Connecticut ($3) and New York ($4.35).

In some areas of Arkansas, smoking is still allowed in bars and restaurants, “which continues to normalize smoking,” according to Vapourlites.com. However some cities have worked to reduce the rate. In September 2016, Helena-West Helena raised the minimum age to buy tobacco to 21, from 18.

Since 2005, the U.S. smoking rate has fallen from 20.9%, and since 1965, it has declined from 42%.