May 24, 2010 - The number of people smoking inside homes in Washington has dropped by 61 percent since 2000, the State Department of Health reports.
People smoked in more than 19 percent of homes in 2000, according to state surveys. In 2008, the most recent year for which data are available, smokers lit up in only 7.6 percent of homes. That’s more than twice the overall decline in adult smoking during the same period, the health department says.
Even with the decline, an estimated 370,000 homes in the state still have smokers in them. People from low-income or low-educational backgrounds are nearly twice as likely to smoke inside their homes, the survey said.
• Renters are more than twice as likely to smoke as homeowners.
• Smoking rates remain higher among Native Americans (15 percent) and African-Americans (12 percent).
• Asian/Pacific Islanders have the lowest level of smoking in the home, at 4 percent.
In Washington State tobacco remains the main cause of preventable disease and death, killing about 7,500 people every year. This despite major gains in reducing tobacco use and exposure since the Washington State Department of Health started the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program nearly ten years ago.
While adult smoking has declined by 30 percent, from 22.4 percent in 1999 to 15.3 percent in 2008, about 770,000 Washingtonians still smoke. In addition, some racial and ethnic groups, and people with less education and income, use tobacco at much higher rates.
So far youth smoking has dropped by 50 percent, but 75,000 of our youth still smoke. In fact, 45 kids start smoking every day. And now many of them are using other types of tobacco, such as cigars, smokeless products, chew, snuff, pipes and flavored cigarettes (bidis). (Making Washington a Healthier Place to Live)
Reference: Washington: 61% fewer people smoking inside their homes, 5/2/2010.
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