US Cities with the Most Smokers – 24/7 Wall St.
Claiming nearly half a million American lives each year, smoking is the number one cauto preventdeath in the United States. Another 16 million Americans are living with a serious illness caused by smoking. Smoking also has an economic impact, including moover $$ 225 billion spent annually on medical expenses to treat smoking-related illness in the United States and over $ 156 billion in lost productivity.
Although the risks associated with smoking and tobacco use are well established and widely understood, 42.4 million American adults – or 16.6% of the adult population – regularly smoke cigarettes. In some parts of the country, smoking rates are much higher.
Using data from County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a joint program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Institute of Population Health, 24/7 Wall St. identified the 50 zones metropolitan areas with the most smokers. Metropolitan areas are ranked on the rate of adult smoking – the share of the population aged 18 and over who smokes every day or most days and has smoked in the100 сigarettes during their lifetime.
Smoking rates in the metropolitan areas on this list range from over 22% to almost 28%. The majority of the metropolitan areas on this list are located in the southern states. However, seven of the metropolitan areas with the highest smoking rates are in Ohio, more than any other state.
Given the proven harmful effects of smoking, it may not be surprising that some important measures of health outcomes tend to be worse than average in subways where smoking rates are higher. For example, in the 50 metropolitan areas with the highest smoking rates, the share of adults who report being in good or poor health is higher than the 16.5% share nationally. (This is what happens to your body when you stop smoking.)
The correlation between smoking rates and life expectancy is also strong. In each metropolitan area on this list, the average life expectancy at birth is lower than the national average of 79.2 years.
Click here to see the subways with the most smokers
Click here to read our detailed methodology