Holding steady: Most adults in SnoCo do not smoke
Washington state’s no-smoke rate is among the lowest in the nation
Snohomish County’s adult smoking rate in 2009 held steady at 15.3 percent, the same as reported in 2007. Washington has the third lowest smoking rate in the nation.
“Fewer people smoking means fewer people inviting chronic illness and early death,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, Health Officer and Director of Snohomish Health District. “The Tobacco Prevention and Control programs in Snohomish County and throughout the state are to be congratulated for improving the health of all the communities they serve.” Before the tobacco program began, Washington state had the 20th lowest smoking rate in the nation.
The state Department of Health used the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to ask 25,000 Washington adults for health-related information, including their tobacco use. BRFSS is a telephone survey of randomly selected adults.
The survey revealed an income disparity between smokers and nonsmokers. Twenty-nine percent of the people who smoke in Washington make less than $25,000 per year. Since 1999, the greatest reductions in smoking rates have occurred among people earning at least $50,000 a year.
A partnership between the Department of Health and the Department of Social and Health Services provides a smoking cessation benefit to Medicaid clients. The benefit includes access to free counseling, and prescription medications written by their doctor. To receive the benefit, people on Medicaid can call the toll-free Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-877-2NO-FUME in Spanish).
In 2009 more than 2,100 Snohomish County residents called the toll-free Tobacco Quit Line for free information, counseling, a personalized quit plan, and local quitting resources. All Washington residents are eligible for personal coaching.
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org.