Tobacco is a Leading Public Health Problem in Utah
•More than 1,200 Utahns (age 35 or older) die annually of smoking-related illnesses. 1 Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable death in Utah and the United States.
•It is estimated that one-third of those who continue to smoke will eventually die from tobacco-related diseases.2
•Approximately 235,000 Utahns (adults and youth) smoke cigarettes.3
•Nearly 17,000 Utah children (1.9%) are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes. 4
The Tobacco Industry is a Formidable Foe
The tobacco industry spends an estimated $49.1 million yearly in Utah marketing its products to children and adults.5 Utah must continue its vigilance against pervasive pro-tobacco influences.
Utah’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program is Working
Utah has made progress in its effort to reduce tobacco use in Utah.
•Utah’s 2010 adult smoking rate is 11.2%6 (age-adjusted, updated BRFSS methodology includes PPF weighting and cell phone samples; 2010 BRFSS smoking rate is not comparable to earlier years).7
•Utah has achieved the Healthy People 2010 goal of reducing adult smoking to less than 12%.8
•50% decline in rate of smoking among high school students (1999-2011)9
•27% decline in smoking rate for pregnant women (1999-2010)10
•68% decline in rate of children exposed to cigarette smoking in their homes (2001-2010)11
•64% decline in illegal tobacco sales to underage youth during compliance checks (2001-2011)12
Reductions in smoking save the lives and money of Utahns. Each one percentage point reduction in smoking leads to:13
•Fewer adult smokers: 18,900
•Fewer pregnant smokers: 540
•Fewer high school smokers: 1,800
•Utah kids who will not become addicted adult smokers: 8,700
•Reduction to future health costs from adult smoking declines: $179.6 million
•Reduction to future health costs from youth smoking declines: $152.3 million
Even with years of successful tobacco control efforts, significant disparities still remain:
•Plateauing of smoking rates among disparate population sectors
•Annual tobacco related costs in Utah exceed $650 million
•Nearly 17,000 Utah children (1.9%) are exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes.
There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. Even being around secondhand smoke for a short time can hurt your health. Some effects are temporary. But others are permanent. (The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General, June 27, 2006)
•13.7% of Utah 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders reported that they rode in a car with someone who was smoking cigarettes in the past 7 days (Source: 2011 Utah PNA)
•21.2% of Utah 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders reported that they were in a room with someone who was smoking cigarettes in the past 7 days (Source: 2011 Utah PNA)
•2.4% of Utah adults (who have children living in their homes) reported that someone smoked inside their homes in the past 7 days (Source: Utah BRFSS 2010, CCLP Raking, Developmental Database)
The Utah Tobacco Prevention Task Force will advance solutions generated by Utah physician, healthcare, business, and public health partnerships to create a tobacco-free Utah. It is the first coalition of its kind to bring together so many diverse backgrounds to specifically improve clinical outcomes, decrease healthcare costs, and improve health by decreasing the burden of tobacco use among Utahns.
1 National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010). Tobacco Control State Highlights 2010. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved January 26, 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/state_data/state_highlights/2010/states/utah/index.htm.
2 Davis, Ron, 2007. AMA Applauds Legislation to Give FDA Authority Over Tobacco Products. Accessed online at:
http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/reports/fda/AMALetter021507.pdf on November 10, 2008.
3 Utah Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). 2010. Utah Department of Health. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). 2011. Population estimate for adults: Utah Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. Population estimate for high school students: Utah State Office of Education, enrollment numbers for fall 2011.
4 Utah Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). 2010.
5 Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids. State-specific Tobacco Company Marketing Expenditures 1998-2008. Accessed online at http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/facts_issues/fact_sheets/industry/marketing/.
6 Utah Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). 2010.
7 Office of Public Health Assessment. Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. New Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Weighting Methodology. Utah Department of Health. Retrieved August 3, 2011 from http://health.utah.gov/opha/OPHA_BRFSS.htm.
8 Utah Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). 1989-2009. Salt Lake City: Utah Department of Health. Center for Health Data. (Note: These BRFSS data may underestimate adult smoking prevalence because the samples did not include mobile phone numbers.)
9 Utah Department of Health. Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). 1999-2011.
10 Utah Birth Certificate Database. Retrieved December 12, 2011 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health web site: http://ibis.health.utah.gov. These smoking rates are based on pregnancies that led to live births.
11 Utah Department of Health. Utah Healthcare Access Survey, 2001 and Utah Department of Health. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). 2010.
12 Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. (2011). Compliance Check summary data, SFY2001-2011 Salt Lake City: Utah Department of Health.
13 Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (2012). Benefits & Savings From Each One Percentage Point Decline In Utah Smoking Rates. Washington, DC: Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.