Ohio's Smoking Rate Edges Upward
According to an annual report
from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ohio's smoking rate has experienced its first statistically significant increase since 1995.
Unlike the national rate, which decreased to 17.3 percent in 2010 and has declined or held steady every year since 1996, Ohio’s smoking rate for 2010 was 22.5%. The figure is up from 20.3% the year before, which had been part of a downward trend.
The CDC promotes best practices for keeping smoking rates down, but Ohio is lacking in several areas. In addition, the the biennial budget which was just approved by the Ohio General Assembly eliminates all funding for its tobacco prevention and cessation program. The CDC recommends spending levels of $145 million.
The budget does contain a $1 million appropriation each year to back enforcement of the smoking ban, but funding for the tobacco quit line has been eliminated. The service, with is being maintained for six to nine months with remaining federal funding, has been limited to helping pregnant women, the uninsured or those on Medicaid.