Southeast Indiana Smoking Rate Above National Average

The smoking rate in Southeastern Indiana remains higher than the national average.

According to the Greater Cincinnati Community Health Status Survey, 33.7% of adults in the Ripley, Dearborn, Franklin, Ohio and Switzerland counties are current smokers. The figures are nearly unchanged since 2010.

The report revealed the Tri-State smoking rate of 25% is higher than the national average of 20%.

Rural areas in the region generally have higher smoking rates than urban areas. The past three years have shown some improvement, as the Tri-State rate remains double the number from the Healthy People 2020 goal of 12%.

Healthy Choices about Substance Use, Interact for Health Senior Program Officer Ann Barnum says the numbers show the region is moving in the right direction but not as steady as preferred.

“What we have seen in our communities in Indiana, is that Indiana has dropped significantly,” Barnum said. “One of the reasons, is because they have put a lot of effort into countering the advertising that goes on for tobacco and countering it with messages about health promotion.”

The smoking rate in the Tri-State has been steadily decreasing over the past 14 years, down from 35% in 1999.