Where Americans Are Most Likely to Light Up

According to recent Gallup polling, smoking rates are highest in the South and Midwest, typically states that "have fewer legal smoking restrictions." Smoking rates top out at 29% in Kentucky, followed by six states where 26% of residents smoke. Utah has the lowest percentage of smokers, checking in at only 11%, with California (15%) and Hawaii (16%) closing out the bottom three. 21% of all Americans say they smoke, unchanged from 2008. The number of states with under 20% of residents smoking has increased, from 10 in 2008 to 18 today.

Excluding West Virginia, all states where over 25% of residents smoke are located in the South and Midwest. On the other end, 14 of the 18 states with under 20% of their residents smoking are located in the East or West. Smoking regulations appear to correlate with a state's percentage of smokers. Gallup writes: "There are no bans on smoking in bars in all but one of the states where rates are 25% or higher and no bans on smoking in restaurants in all but two. However, smoking is banned from workplaces, restaurants, and bars in all but 3 of the 18 states where smoking rates are lower than 20%."
Gallup writes of the current nationwide smoking rate of 21%: "Although this is much lower than the historic highs of around 40% Gallup found from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s, there remains significant variation across states, with smoking levels in many states still at 25% or higher."
SSDAN Office

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