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Great American Smokeout is Thursday

Kentucky second in nation in most adult smokers

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 16, 2015) — Thursday is the American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout, an annual event held the third Thursday of every November to encourage smokers to give up the habit.

UnknownAbout 42 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.

Kentucky has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation. A 2014 Gallup Poll of 178,000 Americans in all 50 states and the District of Columbia found that 30.2 percent of Kentucky adults say the smoke, the highest rate in the nation.

The Henry J. Kaiser Foundation in a 2013 study ranked Kentucky 49th with the most adult smokers, at 26.5 percent, second to West Virginia (27.3 percent) and well above the national average of 18.1 percent.

Utah has the lowest smoking rate, at 10.3 percent, followed by California, 12.5 percent; Hawaii, 13.3 percent; Connecticut, 15.5 percent; and New Jersey, 15.7 percent. The highest rates are mostly in the South. Following West Virginia and Kentucky are: Arkansas, 25.9 percent; Mississippi, 24.8 percent; and Tennessee, 24.3 percent.

Some of the state’s highest smoking rates are in Eastern Kentucky, according to Kentucky Health Facts. To see county smoking rates click here.