Smoking Numbers Remain Steady In Kentucky

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A recent report shows that smoking is down throughout the United States but the same cannot be said for the general population of the Bluegrass State.

"Some local areas have changed and the numbers are going down, but statewide it's hovered around 28 or 29% for a while." said Joyce Adkins of the Barren River District Health Department.

Health officials say that number makes Kentucky number one in the state when it comes to people who smoke. Though the amount of smokers in the state has remained steady, tobacco outlets say the type of products being sold have changed.

"A lot of people have gravitated towards our value brands. They're all under $30 a carton." said Samantha Koons of Tobacco America.

Many initiatives to discourage tobacco use such as a tax on purchases have caused customers to look for a cheaper, hands on approach.

"Out of a 1 .lb bag, you can get about two to two and a half cartons. They're about a quarter of the price of buying a carton outright. More people have went towards them." said Koons regarding "roll your own" tobacco.

Health officials say laws such as banning smoking in restaurants will have an effect on the future.

"That culture is changing somewhat. Kids are not growing up going to restaurants where in every restaurant they go, people are smoking. They are much less likely to start smoking when they are older." added Adkins.

In fact the difference can already be seen. According to the Barren River Health District, smoking has dropped nearly ten percent amongst high schoolers.

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