Smoking down nationally, stagnant in Ohio

By Megan Neary -

Smoking is on the decline in America, with just 13.9 percent of adults in 2017 identifying as cigarette smokers as compared to 15.8 percent in 2016 and more than 40 percent 50 years ago. Ohio, however, boasts a significantly higher percentage of smokers than the national average. With 22.5 percent of adults identifying as cigarette smokers, Ohio is among the worst states in the country in terms of smoking prevalence.

Ohio’s smoking rate has been stuck at 22.5 percent for the last two years. In addition to this high overall rate of smoking, Ohio also has one of the highest rates of pregnant women who smoke. According to statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics, 14.4 percent of pregnant women in Ohio smoked tobacco. If a mother smokes while pregnant, her baby is more likely to be born early, to have a low birth rate, and to suffer from a number of other health issues.

Fayette County statistics were not available, according to health officials.

Although the percentage of people who smoke cigarettes has decreased nationally, the use of e-cigarettes is steadily increasing. In particular, vaping is popular among young people with about 12 percent of high school students reporting that they vaped in 2017. In April of this year, the Food and Drug Administration announced a crackdown on the sale and marketing of e-cigarettes in an effort to reduce the popularity of these products with young people.

Tobacco use has been shown to cause a number of adverse health effects, including: cancer, frequent colds, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, strokes, heart disease and more.

By Megan Neary

Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124 or @MeganNeary2

Reach Megan Neary at 614-440-9124 or @MeganNeary2