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State-Specific Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults—United States, 2008

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November 13, 2009 / Vol. 58 / No. 44

MMWR Highlights

State Specific Smoking Prevalence

  • The data for this article was retrieved from the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). The BRFSS was conducted in the 50 states, District of Columbia (DC), Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), and included data from 414,509 respondents.
  • Among states, current smoking prevalence was highest in West Virginia (26.6%), Indiana (26.1%) and Kentucky (25.3%).
  • Current smoking prevalence was lowest in Utah (9.2%), California (14.0%) and New Jersey (14.8%).
  • Men had a higher prevalence of smoking than women in 35 states, DC, and all three territories.
  • Utah and USVI continue to meet the Healthy People 2010 adult smoking prevalence target of 12% and Puerto Rico met this objective for the first time in 2008.

Secondhand Smoke Exposure and Smoke-free Home Rules

  • Many millions of Americans are still exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes and workplaces.
  • The majority of people surveyed in 11 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands reported a smoke-free home. The percentage of smoke-free homes ranged from 68.8% (West Virginia) to 85.7% (USVI). Nonsmokers were more likely to report having a smoke-free home than smokers.
  • People who reported exposure to secondhand smoke in their home ranged from 3.2% (Arizona) to 10.6% (West Virginia).
  • The levels of home exposure in West Virginia (10.6%) and Mississippi (10.1%) in 2008 were similar to the national estimate for 1999–2004 (10.2%).
  • People who reported exposure to secondhand smoke in their workplaces ranged from 6% (Tennessee) to 17.3% (USVI).
  • To reduce smoking prevalence and exposure to secondhand smoke, public health officials need to continue to encourage smoke-free homes and comprehensive smoke-free policies.
  • Smoke-free policies that prohibit smoking in all indoor areas are the only effective approach to ensure that secondhand smoke exposure does not occur in the workplace or other public places.