By Kent Larsen
Utah NOT Lowest in CDC Smoking Survey
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
have released the results of their annual smoking survey, and Utah is
not the last state on the list. Because of its majority LDS
population, Utah has always been the place in the US with the lowest
percentage of its population that smokes. But this year Puerto Rico
came in slightly lower.
Puerto Rico's 13.7% was just slightly lower than Utah's 13.9%, and a
statistical dead-heat because the survey's margin of error was a full
3%. However, the CDC cautioned that Puerto Rico's numbers could be
skewed because 25% of Puerto Ricans don't have telephones. The survey
was a telephone survey, so 25% of the island's population couldn't be
contacted for the survey.
Surprisingly, Utah's next-door neighbor, Nevada, took the top spot
with the highest percentage of its population that smokes. 31.5% of
Nevadans smoke, up from 30.4% last year. The CDC was unable to
explain why Nevada's rate increased.
However, it may be a result of state laws. In Nevada, state law
prohibits cities and counties from imposing smoking restrictions
beyond those in state law. The state is known for its 24-hour-a-day
smoking-friendly casinos and bars.
Nevada tops list of smoking states
USA Today (AP) 3Nov00 N6
By Russ Bynum: Associated Press
Nev. smoking rates reported highest
Boston Globe (Reuters) 3Nov00 N6