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News Summary

Washington's smoking rate decline good, but more is needed

Publication Date: 8/28/2010
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:WALLA WALLA UNION-BULLETIN

Washington state has wisely put a lot of resources and effort into smoking prevention. The focus has been on keeping young people from starting to smoke and helping smokers quit.

As a result, this state now has the third-lowest adult-smoking rate in the nation, down from No. 6 last year.

Currently, 14.8 percent of adults in the state smoke. This is down from 15.3 percent last year -- the lowest rate since 1995, when states began measuring and comparing smoking rates, according to the Washington State Department of Health...

Nevertheless, the state has taken other actions that have helped to reduce smoking.

Washington bans smoking in almost all buildings as well as restaurants and bars. The state also has the nation's third highest cigarette tax -- over $3 per pack -- that has made smoking so expensive many have had no choice but to quit.

We've come out strongly in favor of the ban on smoking in public places and raising the cigarette tax.