Kentucky still has the largest share of smokers in the U.S, according to a new Gallup poll.
A total of 30.2% of residents of the Bluegrass State smoke cigarettes, narrowly beating out nearby West Virginia’s smoking rate of 29.9%. The states have held the top two positions since 2008.
The state with the nation’s lowest smoking rate, 12.2%, is Utah, where six in ten residents identify as Mormon, a religion with a strict prohibition against smoking.
In all, 19.7% of Americans smoke cigarettes according to Gallup, down from 21.1% in 2008. For purposes of the poll, a cigarette smoker is defined simply as someone who responds “Yes,” to the question: “Do you smoke?”
The state where the smoking rate has fallen most since 2008 (the first year Gallup gathered sufficient data on the question) is Alaska, where 18.7% of the population smokes. That’s 6.5% fewer smokers today than in 2008.
And while smoking rates decreased in nearly every state of the Union between 2008 and today, they ticked up ever so slightly in one: Hawaii, where 19.4% of the population smokes.
But maybe Gallup just happened to call while President Obama was vacationing back home….