Politics & Government

Smoking rate in state continues to drop

OLYMPIA - A state Health Department survey has found fewer adults are smoking tobacco in Washington. The survey found 14.8 percent of Washington adults smoked in 2009, giving Washington the third-lowest smoking rate in the nation.

Smoking rates have dropped to a new low for the seventh consecutive year. Since the state began its Tobacco Prevention and Control Program in 2000, the smoking rate has dropped by about a third.

State officials say the smoking rate among the poor remains high at 29 percent. Those with less education also have higher smoking rates.

Health Secretary Mary Selecky says the other bad news in the survey is the increased use of smokeless tobacco, including dissolvable products that look like candy.