Local news

Wash. smoking rate hits new low for 6th year

OLYMPIA — A state Health Department Survey has found fewer adults are smoking tobacco in Washington. The survey found 15.3 percent of Washington adults smoked in 2008, down from 16.5 percent the previous year.

Smoking rates have hit a new low for the sixth consecutive year. Health officials say Washington also has the sixth lowest smoking rate in the nation and is well below the national smoking rate of 18.4 percent.

Gov. Chris Gregoire says tobacco prevention programs are saving lives and saving the state billions of dollars in future health care costs.

The state’s adult smoking rate has dropped by more than 30 percent since the state began its Tobacco Prevention and Control Program in 2000.

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