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Ohio Smoking Rate Remains Higher Than National Average


Ohio’s smoking rate remains well above the national average. A report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the nationwide smoking rate fell to 15 percent in 2015. 

The Ohio rate was about 20 percent in 2015.

The report says lower-income people still tend to smoke more often. Shelly Kiser from the Ohio office of the American Lung Association says some other populations are more likely to light up.

“There’s a correlation between low education. There’s also specific groups that we know that smoke at really high rates. For instance, the LGBT community smoke at really high rates, people with drug and alcohol problems, people with severe mental illnesses," Kiser says.

Kiser says young people are now more likely to smoke electronic cigarettes, or E-cigarettes, than traditional cigarettes.

Kiser says Ohio has a worse smoking rate than the nation as a whole because it doesn't fund enough cessation efforts or have high enough tobacco taxes.

The national smoking rate is less than half the rate from 50 years ago.