smoking2The Top 5 things that kill people in Arizona: heart disease, cancer, lung diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis, stroke, and injuries.  In fact – these 5 conditions cause 63% of all deaths – which is nearly 18,000 people each year in Arizona (about 50 people/day).  Tobacco use is a major factor in 4 out of the 5 leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and stroke.  It causes about 1/3 of heart disease and cancer, and most emphysema.

We developed a new strategic plan to improve the effectiveness of our smoking cessation resources via the Arizona Smokers’ Helpline and launched Project Quit a couple of years ago.  Both are paying dividends.  Over the last year the adult smoking rate dropped 2%…going from 19% 2011 to 17% today.  The youth smoking rate fell from 17% to 14%.  We’ve had a 30% drop in our Arizona youth smoking rate over the last 4 years meaning that there are 110,000 fewer kids smokers today than four years ago.