Colorado Smoking Rates Down Overall

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Smoking is declining in Colorado, but continues to be linked to thousands of preventable deaths.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said Wednesday that its most recent survey of health attitudes and behavior shows 19.1 percent of Coloradans smoked at least some tobacco in 2008, compared to 17.2 percent in 2012.

Chief medical officer Dr. Larry Wolk says his department wants to reach groups most burdened by tobacco addiction. Among lesbian, bisexual or gay Coloradans, smoking prevalence was 33.4 percent; it was 31.9 percent among young adults who are not in school; and 27 percent among low-income state residents.

The department says tobacco use caused the death of more than 4,400 Coloradans in 2012, compared to 1,053 suicides and 2,404 injury deaths that year.