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Embargoed for release until midnight, May 30, 1999

May 31, 1999
Contact: CDC, Office on Smoking and Health
(770) 488-4893
CDC, Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC releases current state-specific tobacco data on the Internet

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today launched a new online information database, the State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation (STATE) system, which summarizes information on tobacco use in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A link to the new system is located at

The STATE system is the first-ever online compilation of current state-based information and historical data on the prevalence of tobacco use, tobacco control laws, the health impact and costs associated with tobacco use, and tobacco agriculture and manufacturing. Much of STATE's information mirrors data in the CDC publication State Tobacco Control Highlights first released in 1996. The new online system allows the user to print reports and browse the system interactively. An updated edition of State Tobacco Control Highlights will be printed later this summer.

"The beauty of this new system is that it allows public health workers and policy makers at the state level to compare their states with other states using comparable measures across a wide range of data sources," said CDC Director Dr. Jeffrey Koplan. "These data are especially critical now, when states are deciding how to support youth tobacco control efforts."

The following are examples of the type of information posted on STATE:

  • State-specific smoking prevalence among adults varies more than twofold, ranging from a low of 13.7 percent in Utah to a high of 30.8 percent in Kentucky.
  • Current smoking among young people (grades 9-12) ranges from 16.4 percent in Utah to 47.0 percent in Kentucky, more than a threefold difference.
  • Among states with laws that restrict smoking in private worksites, only California meets the nation?s Healthy People 2000 objective to eliminate nonsmokers? exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.
  • State excise taxes on cigarettes range from a low of 2.5 cents per pack in Virginia to a high of $1.00 per pack in Alaska.

The system enables users to browse data for a specific state or view and print out a number of pre-formatted reports that summarize information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The STATE system is formatted in six data profiles: behaviors, demographics, economics, health consequences and cost, legislation, and program implementation. The data are extracted from

several sources including the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; Current Population Surveys; Economic Research Service; Public Health Reports; Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs; Tobacco Institute; U.S. Census; and the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System.

An icon to the STATE system appears on the CDC Office on Smoking and Health?s Tobacco Information and Prevention Source (TIPS) Web site and the "Online Help" section provides users with detailed information about the system and how to use it.

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