Arizonans smoking less at home, in cars, than national average
Arizona does better than the national average in terms of residents who report smoke-free homes and vehicles. The numbers come from a new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC survey shows around 86 percent of respondents in Arizona reported smoke-free homes in 2009-10. That ranked the state 6th in the country.
As far as smoke-free cars, more than 82.5 percent of residents said they had them. Arizona ranks third in that category.
Since 2007, Arizona law prohibits smoking in many public places, and Sheila Sjolander with the Arizona Department of Health Services said the fact that the state’s smoking rates are so low in private places leads her to believe fewer Arizonans are smoking.
"We know that the Arizona smoking rates declined quite a lot after the 2007 law went into effect, the Smoke-Free Arizona Act went into effect. We estimate that about 200,000 people stopped smoking," Sjolander said.
Sjolander said she is not overly surprised by the results but is happy about them, although she thinks the state can do better. She said her agency is now working on a campaign dealing with the dangers of second-hand smoke.