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Missoula Measures - Tobacco Use

graph Smoking rate by state 2013


Why this topic?

Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death and disease in the United States.  Each year, approximately 443,000 Americans die from tobacco-related illnesses.  For every person who dies from tobacco use, 20 more people suffer with at least 1 serious tobacco-related illness.  In addition, tobacco use costs the U.S. $193 billion annually in direct medical expenses and lost productivity.  HP 2020

Tobacco use causes:

There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer in adults and a number of health problems in infants and children, including:

Smokeless tobacco causes a number of serious oral health problems, including cancer of the mouth and gums, periodontitis, and tooth loss.

Cigar use causes cancer of the larynx, mouth, esophagus, and lung.

HP 2020

How are we doing?

Nationally, we have seen significant reductions in cigarette smoking, from about 40% in 1965 to nearly half that 30 years later. The smoking rate is about the same in Missoula (22% +/- 2%) as it is in the state as a whole and the state rate of smoking has been holding steady for five years. The percent of teens now smoking regularly in Missoula is slightly less than the state as a whole, but represents a significant new population addicted to tobacco.

Healthy People 2020 Targets

  • Only 16% of adolescents smoke
  • Only 12% of adults smoke
  • Only 45% of the population is exposed to 2nd hand smoke
  • Only 1% of high school students use spit tobacco

Thirty-three states have outright bans on smoking in private worksites and restaurants, and 27 states have bans on smoking in bars, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nine of the 10 states with the lowest smoking rates have outright bans on smoking.

The Montana Adult Tobacco Survey of 2008 reports that 7 in 10 current smokers are either contemplating or preparing to quit.



The rate of tobacco use in the US has been slowly declining, from 25% in 1997 to 21% in 2005. As of 2003, 20% of Montanan adults smoke. The Health People 2010 Target for adult smoking is 12%.

graph montana adult smoking rare, Misoula adult spit tobacco use rate 2004-2009

*Spit Tobacco Users is the percent of those who have ever tried spit tobacco.

Source: Montana BRFSS; Some data not available.

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In 2002, 45% of Montana adult smokers had quit smoking for 1 day or more in the past year.

Graph showing tobacco use in Montana,Missoula, and the US.
NOTE: 2006 was the only year in which this Missoula data was collected.

graph adult tobacco use Montana and US 2009

Related Data

Youth tobacco use 2000-2010, PNA:


graph Missoula 10th graders who smoked or chewed in past month 2000-2009

graph Missoula 12th graders who smoked or chewed in past month 2000-2009


Montana Prevention Needs Assessment - Missoula data from Missoula County Public Schools

Children under 17 living in a household with at least one smoker, 2007:

US - 26%          Montana - 27%
National Survey of Children's Health




More related data


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Montana Indoor Clean Air Act

In 2005, the state legislature passed the Montana Indoor Clean Air Act (CIAA) that prohibits smoking in all work places, public buildings, bars and casinos in the entire state.  As of June 2012, 21 states have similar laws

Missoula Tobacco Use Prevention Plan

Maintain and enhance Missoula's tobacco use prevention network

Decrease public and workplace exposure to ETS

Provide health education and prevention activities for youth

Reduce underage access to tobacco products

Promote cessation among youth and adults

Decrease social acceptability of tobacco use

CDC Recommended Goals

Healthy People 2020 Targets - Increase the percent of :    
  Base Target

Women who do not smoke during pregnancy
89.4% 98.3%




Related websites

Tobacco Free Missoula County

Montana Tobacco Free Program

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids

National BRFSS Trends Data

There are many websites addressing tobacco-related issues. The six sites listed below are some of the larger sites on tobacco issues and are good places to start.

American Cancer Society

American Heart Association - Getting Healthy

American Lung Association - news and links

Links to health data, statistics and information from many national sources.

Healthy People 2010 - extensive background on national public health status of this topic and many others.


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