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The war against smoking in Utah is gradually being won . . . and that, in KSL's view is a positive trend.
Consider these facts outlined in the annual report released by the state's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program:
-At 9.5 percent, Utah's age-adjusted adult smoking rate is at its lowest since good data became available in 1989.
-Utah's youth smoking rate of 7.4 percent remains the lowest in the country.
-97 percent of Utah children live in smoke-free homes.
In short, the message about tobacco's harmful effects, both primary and secondhand, seems to be getting through. Some of the credit goes to effective anti-tobacco media campaigns. As well, the recent movement in cities and towns throughout the state to restrict smoking in most public places is having a positive impact.
Still, there is more to do. Nearly 190,000 Utahns continue to smoke, which means tens of thousands are still regularly exposed to the potentially deadly effects of secondhand smoke. Indeed, as reported, "The Utah economy loses $530 million each year to smoking-attributable medical and productivity costs."
With those facts in mind, KSL believes there can be no let up in the campaign to prevent, even curtail smoking. While the trend is positive, the war is yet to be completely won.