Smoking in Wisconsin: New survey shows lowest rate ever recorded in the state

MADISON (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) announced on Monday, December 8th that the state’s adult smoking rate is at the lowest rate ever recorded in Wisconsin.  The adult smoking rate is at 18%, a two percentage point drop from 2012, and is consistent with the national smoking rate of 17.8% recently announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The data from the Wisconsin Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS) also shows that smoking rates remain high among specific groups. For example, the survey found that 33% of Wisconsin residents who are low income or have less than a high school degree still smoke.

Meanwhile, sales of tobacco to underage youth also declined in 2014 to 6.4%; down from 7.3% in 2013. The Department credits responsible retailers and available resources for that decline.

In addition, the 2014 Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) by the UW-Milwaukee Center for Urban Initiatives and Research found that while youth smoking was down, the use of smokeless tobacco products among high school youth increased from 6% in 2012 to nearly 10% in 2014. The study also found that the use of e-cigarettes by Wisconsin high school students was 75% higher than the national average.

Resources are available for Wisconsin residents who want to quit tobacco, including the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, which offers free help and medications.

For information about the Wisconsin Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, CLICK HERE.