High Smoking Percentage in Missouri

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COLUMBIA - The 2017 Missouri Statewide Performance Indicator report showed that Missouri is one of the top five states in the nation with the greatest amount of smokers.

The report showed the state's statistics for areas such as economy, education, civic involvement, health, crime and transportation.

The recent health data showed that, in 2015, Missouri ranked 46th out of all 50 states, making it the fifth state with the highest rates behind Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas and Mississippi.

KOMU 8 News looked at data since 2006, and the numbers showed that Missouri has remained inside the top 12 states with the highest percent of adult smokers. In the past nine years, Missouri has also been over the national average each year. In 2015, Missouri was 4.5 percent above the national average mark. 

Boone County, in the 2017 County Health Ranking, reported 21.22 percent of adults in the county smoke. 

"So, it's roughly about the same as the state's," said Erick Stann, Community Specialist for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services. 

"With a lot of that data, it's difficult to compare year to year. Because a lot of data is based off of BRFSS (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System), which is a nationwide, statewide reporting system. So, it's a statewide survey, so it's a phone survey," he said.  

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services provides a smoking cessation service. The program is free to Boone County residents who wish to stop smoking and provides two counseling sessions and a two week supply of nicotine patches.