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Opinion

August 27, 2013

Fewer Oklahomans smoking

NORMAN — Here’s some good news on the tobacco front: Oklahoma’s ranking of adults who choose to smoke has declined. We’re now No. 39, instead of No. 47 nationally.

That’s a significant shift, and time will tell whether it’s a statistical glitch or fewer people are choosing to light up. The 2012 figures, the latest available, show 23 percent of Oklahomans smoke compared to 26 percent in 2011.

State health department officials said higher taxes on cigarettes and better cessation efforts are helping pull the numbers down. All of the hullaballoo about vapor cigarettes may be clouding some numbers, too.

We’re seeing more and more smokers turn to the vapor cigarettes. The verdict is still out whether they are “healthier” than the traditional smokes. For sure, they are easier on non-smokers. At Sunday’s Summer Breeze concert, you could see lots of vapor and very little smoke.

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