A new report from the CDC this week showed that the smoking rate across the US has stayed flat at about 20% over the last 5 years.  Not so in Arizona, where we’ve decreased from 20% in 2005 to 16% in 2009, according to our latest BRFS report.   As is the case across the country, the folks in Arizona that make the least amount of money are the most likely to smoke, which is why we’ve focused our tobacco prevention and cessation (quitting) efforts on that demographic- with aggressive targeted marketing, quitline services (including quit coaches) and by paying AHCCCS (using our voter-protected tobacco control funds) to cover medicine to help people succeed.  We also think that our youth prevention campaign and the implementation of the Smoke Free Arizona Act in 2007 are factors that have helped us buck the national trend.