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Study: Smokers and Smoking-Related Cancer Deaths by State

What state has the most smokers? Looking only at the percentage of smokers by state, the worst is West Virginia, where 21.7% of the population smokes cigarettes. Kentucky ranks #2, with 21.1% of locals smoking cigarettes.


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United States Smoking Attributed Smoking Cancer Deaths By State



Cigarettes are rife with negative health risks, and it’s no wonder that the top two states that have the highest percentage of cigarette-smokers also have the highest percentage of deaths from smoking-related cancers. Kentucky, which has the highest percentage of deaths from smoking-related cancers, losing about 10,165 people, outranks West Virginia, which lost 1,581, a slim margin in terms of percentage of state population.


Top 10 States With the Highest Percentage of Cigarette-Smokers


These are the top 10 states with the most smokers, according to CDC data on smoking rates by state:

    1. West Virginia: 21.7%
    2. Kentucky: 21.1%
    3. Wyoming: 20.2%
    4. Arkansas: 20%
    5. Ohio: 19%
    6. Indiana: 18.9%
    7. South Dakota: 18.8%
    8. Louisiana: 18.6%
    9. Mississippi: 18.5%
    10. Oklahoma: 18.5%



    States by Percentage of the Population Who Die from Smoking-Related Cancers


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    States by Percentage of the Population Who Die from Smoking-Related Cancers

    Top 10 States With the Most Smoking-Related Cancer Deaths


    These are the percentages of the population who die per year from smoking-related cancers, according to data from a JAMA Internal Medicine study cross-checked against U.S. Census population data:

      1. Kentucky: 0.23% (10,165 deaths)
      2. West Virginia: 0.085% (1,581 deaths)
      3. Arkansas: 0.07% (2,175 deaths)
      4. Tennessee: 0.07% (4,613 deaths)
      5. Maine: 0.07% (927 deaths)
      6. Missouri: 0.068% (4,047 deaths)
      7. Louisiana: 0.067% (3,044 deaths)
      8. Mississippi: 0.067% (1,992 deaths)
      9. Florida: 0.067% (12,596 deaths)
      10. Alabama: 0.066% (3,183 deaths)




      Looking carefully at data on smoking by state, we can see trends and a common theme: High percentages of harmful forms of smoking like cigarette use combined with low access to health care may lead to a deadly combination for smokers.


      If you’ve struggled to quit and considering vaping as an alternative, here’s a guide to what you can come to expect from the transition.



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