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Arizona tobacco use declining at historic rates

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Arizona has the biggest drop in tobacco smoking, vaping rates increased

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA) - According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Arizona had its biggest drop in tobacco smoking from 2009 to 2018.

The Yuma County Public Health Department says adults smoking is almost 10% lower compared to the rest of the state.

This places Yuma County among the lowest county rates for adult smoking in Arizona.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death.

On average, kids as young as 12 years old begin experimenting with tobacco products.

The Yuma County Tobacco Use Prevention Program works with community partners and schools to try and prevent tobacco use at an early age.

Anhel Centeno, the program coordinator, attributes this 13% decline statewide to research, awareness, and education.

On the flip side, there’s been an almost 8% increase in vaping, especially among Arizona's youth.

“People are more aware of what tobacco causes. We have so much more research on what diseases tobacco contributes to. So I think the reason we’re seeing these numbers, unfortunately, increase with vaping is that we don’t have enough research on it. There isn’t enough awareness of it yet. Scientists are still trying to figure out what the long term health effects are,” Centeno said.

With the recent law raising the tobacco age limit to 21 and bans on flavored vape products, Centeno hopes this will reduce access to tobacco products for teens.

For more information on this study, visit QuoteWizard.

Arizona News / Yuma County

Aziza Shuler

Aziza Shuler joined KYMA in March 2019 wearing many hats including the newest anchor and producer for FOX 9, as well as a multi-media journalist for KYMA.

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