Tobacco use, especially among young people, is higher in rural a - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Tobacco use, especially among young people, is higher in rural areas of Kentucky

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Tobacco use, especially among young people in Kentucky, is higher in rural areas, due in part to more social acceptance of smoking and low tobacco taxes.  That's the conclusion of the American Lung Association report, "Cutting Tobacco's Rural Roots:  Tobacco Use in Rural Communities."

Young people in rural communities are also more likely to start using tobacco earlier, and are twice as likely to use smokeless tobacco.  24.8 percent Kentucky's adult population smokes and 41.62 percent lives in rural areas.

"Tobacco use is often more socially acceptable in rural areas, making it more likely that kids living in these communities will also start to use tobacco," said David Gross, President of the Kentucky Rural Health Association in a news release.

The report also says people with less education and lower income, which is common in many rural areas, are more likely to use tobacco.  It says rural areas are less likely to have smokefree air laws and people are more likely to smoke in their homes.  That also increases the risk of being exposed to secondhand smoke.

Gross says, "Kentucky community leaders and residents need to take a stand against the culture of tobacco use as part of life and empower our future generations to have healthy, tobacco-free lives."

The Lung Association's reports also points out that Kentucky has a 60-cent a pack tobacco tax, while the average state tobacco tax is $1.46 a pack.  It also says the state's promotion of quit-smoking services "lags."

To download a copy of the report, visit: www.lung.org/rural-tobacco-use.

From the American Lung Association:

The American Lung Association offers smoking cessation resources to help people quit smoking for good.

Freedom From Smoking® is a program that teaches the skills and techniques that have been proven to help hundreds of thousands of adults quit smoking. Freedom From Smoking is available as a group clinic, an online program and a self-help book.

Not-On-Tobacco® (N-O-T) is a group program designed to help 14 to 19 year old smokers end their addiction to nicotine. The curriculum consists of ten 50-minute sessions that typically occur once a week for 10 weeks.

The Lung HelpLine, 1-800-LUNG-USA, offers one-on-one support from registered nurses and respiratory therapists.  Individuals have the opportunity to seek guidance on lung health and find out how to participate in and join the Lung Association smoking cessation programs.   

Copyright 2012 WDRB News.  All Rights Reserved.

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