March 9, 2010 - Iowa Department of Public Health officials said Monday, March 8th that a new study shows a 52 percent drop in cigarette sales in Iowa. The 2009 Tobacco Control Progress Report finds a dramatic decrease in cigarette consumption in Iowa. Data from the Iowa Department of Revenue show that cigarette sales in Iowa remained steady from 2000 to 2006. Since 2006, per capita consumption of cigarettes has plummeted from 112 to 54 in 2009. To read the entire report at www.idph.state.ia.us/tobacco and look under Tobacco Program Evaluations and Progress Reports.
“The fact that Iowans are smoking half as many cigarettes now is clearly attributable to the $1 cigarette excise tax in 2007 and the 2008 Smokefree Air Act,” said Cathy Callaway, chairwoman of the Iowa Tobacco Use Prevention & Control Commission, in a statement released on Monday. “The importance of policies like these in improving health and saving lives cannot be underestimated.”
Directly related news brief: Iowa - smoking ban has resulted in fewer people smoking.., July 1, 2009.
Officials said the report shows a slower reduction in tobacco use by younger Iowans.
Cigarette use among high school students at 19.9 percent in 2008 was roughly the same level it was in 2004 at 19.5 percent. Among middle school students, tobacco use was down only slightly from 3.6 percent in 2006 to 2.8 percent in 2008.
“It’s important to point out that awareness of Iowa’s youth-led tobacco counter-marketing campaign, JEL (Just Eliminate Lies), fell during this period,” Callaway said. “Studies show there’s a direct correlation between exposure to state-sponsored anti-tobacco advertisements and anti-smoking attitudes, beliefs and smoking prevalence. Simply put, the fewer ads JEL produces, the lower the awareness among children. That’s a major contributor to the limited success we’re seeing in the JEL program’s goal to prevent tobacco use among youth.”
Among high school students, 85 percent had heard of JEL in 2004. Four years later, however, that number dropped to 61 percent. The decrease in awareness was even more dramatic among middle school students, as it decreased from 54 percent in 2004 to 30 percent in 2008.
Officials said data from more than 60 sources were reviewed in producing the Iowa 2009 Tobacco Progress Report, which was conducted by the University of Northern Iowa’s Center for Behavioral Research.
Reference: Study: Iowa Cigarette Sales Drop 52 Percent, KCCI-8, Des Moines, Iowa, 3/8/2010.
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