Percentage of Smokers in Tennessee Way Above National Average

Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

The 36th annual World No Tobacco Day will be recognized throughout the nation on Wednesday, May 31, and one state has to learn to stop striking matches.

The day, created by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1987, is intended to inform the public on the dangers of using tobacco and what people can do to live a healthier lifestyle.

WHO has reported that eight million deaths occur every year due to the consumption of tobacco, as it is the leading cause of respiratory issues such as pulmonary disease, tuberculosis and other lung diseases.

With the day dedicated to curtailing smoking, BetTennessee.com took a break from covering Tennessee sports betting to research which states smoke the least and which ones smoke the most.

To do so, we took data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (CDC – 2021 BRFSS Survey Data and documentation).

Using this report, BetTennesse.com – your source for Tennessee sports betting apps - ranked the U.S. states, according to the percentage of adults who reported “smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke daily or some days.”

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Percentage of Adult Smokers Per State

Here are the results, from the state with the lowest concentration of adult smokers to the highest.

Note: Florida is not listed because there was not enough data collected for 2021 survey.
RankState% of Adult Smokers
1Utah7.2
2California8.92
T3Hawaii10.1
T3Maryland10.1
5 Massachusetts 10.6
T6New Jersey10.7
T6Washington10.7
8Connecticut11.1
T9Colorado12.0
T9Illinois12.0
T9New York12.0
12New Hampshire12.3
T13Oregon12.4
T13Rhode Island12.4
T13Virginia12.4
T16Arizona13.1
T16Texas13.1
T18Idaho13.3
T18New Mexico13.3
T18Wisconsin13.3
T21Delaware13.4
T21Minnesota13.4
T21Nebraska13.4
T24Montana14.4
T24North Carolina14.4
T24Pennsylvania14.4
27Iowa14.6
28Vermont14.8
T29Georgia15.0
T29North Dakota15.0
31South Dakota15.3
T32Nevada15.5
T32South Carolina15.5
T34Kansas15.6
T34Maine15.6
36Wyoming16.4
37Oklahoma16.9
38Michigan17.0
39Arkansas17.1
40Alabama17.2
T41Indiana17.3
T41Missouri17.3
43Ohio18.0
44Louisiana19.5
T45Kentucky19.6
T45Mississippi19.6
47Tennessee19.7
48Arkansas21.1
49West Virginia22.0

 

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Not a Good Result for Tennessee

The Volunteer State placed 47th out of 49 states and is the-third worst state for smoking at 19.7%. (There was not enough data to include Florida.)

Only two states ranked lower than Tennessee - Arkansas (21.1%) and West Virginia (22%). Two other Southern states rank among the nation's worst, with Louisiana (19.5%) coming in 44th and Mississippi, tied with Kentucky (19.6%), placing 45th.

According to the CDC, about 12 of every 100 adults (12.4%) who smoke live in the South, second only to the Midwest (14%), where 14 of every 100 adults smoke.

If you want to stop smoking and need help to do so, call the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Or text “QUIT” to TN 2 Quit at 615-795-0600. You also can join the program online for free at www.tnquitline.org. 

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Author

Lou Monaco is a reporter for BetTennessee.com. Lou had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.