(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Fewer Hoosiers than ever are making smoking a nasty habit.
The State Department of Health said Tuesday that the smoking rate among state residents last year was 21.2 percent according to data from the 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. That’s down more than 23 percent from 27.4 percent of Hoosiers who smoked in 2001.
Last year, 60 percent of Hoosier smokers tried to quit smoking for at least one day or longer.
"We are incredibly happy to announce a drop in Indiana's smoking rate for the second year in a row," said Karla Sneegas, Assistant Commissioner of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation at the Indiana State Department of Health. "Over the past 10 years, the smoking rate dropped from 27.4 percent to a new low of 21.2 percent, but there is still work to be done."
Indiana was behind the national smoking rate of 17.3 percent charted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The department says anti smoking programs, quitting contests, and even the economy have helped cut back on the number of smokers.
"Indiana's commitment to community-based work and tobacco policy change together with our outreach directly to smokers through the Indiana Tobacco Quitline is paying off for all Hoosiers," said Sneegas. "By focusing our attention on exceptional local and state programs, we are making a great investment in the health of our state and helping to ensure a better future for our children and Hoosiers everywhere."