Missouri - one of the Smokers’ Paradise states

Published on May 13th, 2010 09:21

Public health groups claim it’s time to rename Missouri into the “Smoke Me” place.

No matter where they are, either at home, at work, or in a public place, residents of Missouri are exposed to tobacco smoke, as they live in one of the major smoker-friendly states in the country, declares the latest report made up by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where the states are ranked according to their anti-smoking efforts.

Missouri is home to the second-lowest excise tax on cigarettes with 17 cents a pack. Only South Carolina has a lower tax, with 7 cents, the CDC report shows.


Employees across Missouri have the second-highest likeability of exposure to passive smoking, after Nevada. In addition, Missourian families are likely to allow lighting up inside their homes, with 69.5% of families don’t permit smoking, 7 percent lower than nationwide average of 77,6 percent. And this indifference to the threat of smoking has its grave consequences for the state. Nearly 300 adult Missouri residents of every 100,000 perish away annually due to disease caused by smoking. Just nine states across the nation are ranked higher in this grievous list.

Missouri is not the only smoking-friendly state across the U.S. as the stats for Kansas are also not very optimistic, however Kansas owns lower rated of adult smokers than in Missouri. So many anti-smoking advocates are highly concerned about the absence of efforts from Missouri officials and simple people.

Matthew L. Myers, head of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stated the major problem is the absence of will from the part of lawmakers and week funding of anti-tobacco campaigns and this lack of efforts is costing the state just too much. Myers added that the Missouri is one of the few states that still hasn’t adopted a clean indoor air legislation, putting the employees of restaurants, cafes and casinos at risk of being exposed to tobacco smoke.

In addition, Missouri invests only 1.7 percent of the level advised by the CDC for tobacco control efforts, such as smoking cessation programs and public campaigns in the media. Only two states across the nation invested less on their tobacco control.

David Cavallo, Missouri Health Department spokesman admitted that they could be applying more efforts to encourage tobacco-free lifestyles. However, he mentioned that they have succeeded in those anti-smoking programs which they initiated last year He said the Department is doing its best within the available recourses, and their efforts can be seen in the successful anti-smoking education campaigns in schools.

The Department of Health also had a very successful anti-smoking campaign, when it joined efforts with Royals and Cardinals, and consequently, the Missouri quit-line had a double increase in calls.

And though, Missouri doesn’t have a statewide ban on public smoking, many cities including Columbia, Kansas City and Liberty have approved their own bans.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer. Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub.com. All rights reserved.

Related tags: smokers paradise | cigarettes tax | tobacco tax | tobacco consumption

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