Last week we shared Florida health data from the site WorldLifeExpectancy.com in four categories associated with smoking: heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease, and stroke. We then obtained information by county from the 2012 Florida Youth Tobacco Survey as to the percentage of high school students reporting smoking in the home and added this information in the chart. From the data it appeared that counties with higher death rates in the four health categories also had higher incidences of smoking in the home. Would the U.S. states with highest smoking rates also have higher death rates in the four health categories associated with smoking?
According to the Life Expectancy site, the top 10 states with the highest smoking rates in order are: Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri, and Alabama. These 10 states also appear to have higher rates of death in the four health categories related to smoking. Five of the top 10 states (with a * by their name) also received failing grades in all four categories of the American Lung Association’s 2012 State of the Air: Tobacco Prevention, Smokefree Air, Cigarette Tax, and Cessation. Due to space, grades were provided for the two categories we were interested in: tobacco prevention and cessation. The results can be viewed at the end of the story.
Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the United States. These numbers show that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in our country to change the current mindset of tobacco use. The best way to protect our future generations from ever starting a deadly addiction is by teaching them about the dangers of tobacco while they are still young.
The Florida Statewide Tobacco Prevention course does just that. This 24/7 online course allows Florida educators to gain the knowledge to teach six (6) tobacco prevention lessons to their students. After completion of course requirements, educators can earn 60 in-service credits at no cost to them. Educators have until May 5, 2013 to register for this school year. Teaching students about the dangers of tobacco is paramount to ending the tobacco epidemic among our youth.