The Tracker: November 2005

* Kentucky ranks in the top ten poorest states in the United States.

* Rates of smoking are highest in states with higher poverty.

* Medicaid recipients have approximately 50% greater smoking prevalence than the overall U.S. population. In 2002, Kentucky was 1 of 15 states which did not include medication coverage for tobacco dependence treatment under Medicaid.

* In 2004, Kentucky had the highest adult smoking rate in the country at 28%.

* The local adult smoking rate (18 and older) is 26%. The local youth smoking rate (8th-12th graders) is 24%.

* From 2001-2003, the percent of adults that tried to quit smoking in Owensboro-Daviess County was 56%. The state percentage was 48%.

* In 2004, the number of local manufacturers offering smoking cessation programs to their employees was 52%. The state percentage was 48%.

* According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, during 1997-2001, cigarette smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke resulted in approximately 438,000 premature deaths in the United States, 5.5 million total years of potential life lost, and $92 billion of annual losses in worker productivity.

* In 2003, the percentage of local schools banning smoking on school grounds was 64%. The state percentage was 42%.

* In 2003, the percentage of local restaurants that were smoke free was 57%. The state percentage was 45%.

* In 2002, Kentucky had the fifth highest age-adjusted death rate in the United States. Out of 50 states, citizens in 45 live healthier and longer than Kentuckians.

* The four leading indicators of death in the Kentucky are 1) heart disease; 2) cancer; 3) stroke; and 4) chronic lower respiratory disease.

* Cigarette smoking is the single most common preventable cause of death for the four leading indicators of death.


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