KCUR News
7:55 am
Wed January 7, 2009

Less Smoking, Fewer Smoking-Related Deaths In KC

Kansas City, MO – Smoking has plummeted in Kansas City Missouri, and so has the number of smoking-related deaths.

About a third of all adults living in the Kansas City region smoked cigarettes in 2001. By 2007, the number of smokers had fallen by 25 percent, according to a new report from the Kansas City Missouri Health Department. Dr. Rex Archer is the director there and told a city council committee yesterday the decline has saved many lives.

Dr. Archer: "We've had substantial improvements in the public's health and productivity, and on average, there were 67 fewer deaths of Kansas City Missouri smokers per year, and an equal number, approximately, of non smoker deaths that have been delayed."

Dr. Archer also says the state has not been nearly as successful as Kansas City in curbing smoking rates - which remained pretty much unchanged during that same time. He says local education efforts and smoking bans were major reasons for the drop.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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