(KCPW News) Fewer Utahns are lighting up. A new report released by the Utah Department of Health shows youth smoking in the state is at its lowest recorded level. Amy Oliver, Marketing Manager for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, says Utah’s teen smoking rate has been cut in half over the last 13 years.
“In 1999 we had an 11.9 percent youth smoking rate and today we have a 5.9 percent youth smoking rate, so we’re seeing pretty significant drops,” she says.
Oliver attributes the reduction in youth smoking to the high cigarette tax and an increase in tobacco prevention efforts across the state. But she says smoking hasn’t just gone down among youth.
“According to our statistics, more adult smokers are seeking help to quit smoking. We saw more than 12,000 adult smokers seeking cessation services though the Quit Line and the Quit Net this year alone,” says Oliver.
220,000 Utah adults smoke, or roughly 11.3 percent of the adult population, which is the lowest level in the country.