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Embargoed until 4:00PM EDT, May 24, 2001

May 25, 2001
Contact: Perry Stevens
CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention
& Health Promotion
(404) 488–5493

Press Release

CDC study shows adult smoking rates falling in Arizona

Smoking prevalence among adults in Arizona dropped significantly following the implementation of a state tobacco education and prevention program the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today.

According to the report, which is published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, smoking among adults in Arizona dropped from 23.1 percent in 1996 to 18.3 percent in 1999.

"These findings are a positive sign that education and prevention programs do work," said CDC Director, Dr. Jeffrey Koplan. "If every state implemented programs like those in Arizona, we could expect to cut the adult smoking rate by half during the next decade." Koplan estimates that such a reduction in smoking would prevent more than 3 million premature deaths from smoking-related diseases.

In 1994, Arizona passed legislation increasing the tax on cigarettes from 18 cents to 58 cents, and allocated 23 percent of the resulting revenues for tobacco control activities. Following the implementation of the states’ education and prevention program, smoking prevalence declined for women, men, whites, and Hispanics. Other findings of the study include:

  • Low income and low education groups reported less smoking, indicating a decrease in disparities in cigarette use.

  • An increase in the proportion of smokers who reported that a health professional had asked them about tobacco use and advised them to quit.

  • The Arizona Tobacco Education and Prevention Program (TEPP) incorporates all nine components of a comprehensive tobacco control program as recommended by CDC’s Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs.

Arizona Department of Health Services Director Catherine Eden said the CDC report provides further evidence that Arizona's anti-tobacco program is working. "We're hopeful the rest of the nation soon will join us in the battle against public health enemy number one," Eden said. "This report again affirms how far we've come in the fight to curb the deadly habits of smoking and spit tobacco."

To obtain a copy of the MMWR article, please contact the CDC, Office on Smoking and Health at (770) 488-5705 (press 2 for publications). The MMWR article will be available online at after 4 p.m. EST.

CDC protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

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This page last reviewed May 24, 2001

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