Smoking rates in Wisconsin drop

Doctors credit drop to increase in cigarette prices and more smoke free legislation

More and more Wisconsinites are kicking their smoking habit.

Numbers from the state’s department of health show fewer than one in five adults smoke cigarettes.

The 18-percent smoking rate is a two percent drop from last year and the lowest it’s ever been on record. The number is almost even with the national average.

Doctors credit the drop to an increase in cigarette prices and more smoke free legislation.

“You go out and you have more smoke free places. So restaurants and bars, the places that you go to, smoking is not allowed and that impacts it greatly. So I think all of that has occurred of the last 5 to 10 years and we’re now seeing some of the benefits,” said Gundersen Health System Allergist Todd Mahr.

Doctors say there is still a lot of work to do to cut down on smoking. Even though the state takes in more than $680 million in taxes from cigarettes only about one-percent of that goes to smoking prevention.