Smoking Rates Released


Do you know who has the highest---and lowest---smoking rates in the US?

On September 29, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on US smoking rates. The CDC used data from the National Interview Survey to determine the overall rate of smoking in the US (19.3% of all adults) and further broke down the data by industry and occupation. The CDC found that there was tie for first place; the rate of smoking among mining workers and workers in the hotel and food service industry was 30%. Construction workers were not far behind, with a 29.7% smoking rate. Health care and social assistance workers were in the middle of the pack, with a 15.9% smoking rate. On the low end were workers in the education services industry, with the lowest smoking rate (9.7%) and company managers with a smoking rate of 10.9%. The complete list can be found at

Predictably, the CDC stressed that employer interventions, which are known to be effective in reducing smoking rates, should be offered and accessible in workplaces with higher smoking rates. This means that mining and construction companies, hotels, and restaurants need to step up their efforts to curb smoking in their workplaces. And although teachers and employees in education rounded out the bottom of the list, almost one in ten smokes, so increased smoking cessation efforts are needed all industries. The CDC also noted that a component of health care reform is the requirement of new private health insurance plans to offer smoking cessation programs without co-pays, and recommended that employers should ensure that their employees are aware of these programs and encourage their use.

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