At least 10 years ago, humorist Garrison Keillor portrayed smokers as future fugitives from societal disapproval. It was a joke then, but as moves are made to eliminate cigarettes from movies, the social ban on smoking has come true.
In fact, Nancy Mahannah of Mono County’s Health Department provided us with some new data. Reports say that California adults are smoking at record low rates. Women light up less than men, according to the California Department of Health Services. The State says that 9.1% of California women smoke cigarettes, down from 11.1% in 2005. The same report says that smoking among California women has decreased by 54% since 1988 – an unprecedented decline.
Governor Schwarzenegger has lit up public interest in this health issue. His health care reform proposal calls for expanded access to smoking education and cessation services to help an additional 40,000 California smokers quit.
State Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Horton is quoted as saying that lower smoking rates in California come from the State’s second hand smoke policies in public buildings, tobacco education programs and price of cigarettes.