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Health Department: Adult smoking numbers hit all-time low in Oklahoma

(KOKH/FILE)

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says the number of adults who smoke in the state has dropped to a new all-time low.

The adult smoking rate was 19.6 last year, according to the latest report from the CDC Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. The health department says the lower numbers show "proof that focused efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use are paying off."

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“This is great news and reflects the hard work of individuals, businesses and communities across the state. Each lowered percentage point represents lives saved from the people we know, and people we care about and love,” said Dr. Terry Cline, cabinet secretary of health and human services and commissioner of the OSDH.

The OSDH says the numbers mean the number of adult smokers dropped nearly 72,000 between 2015 and 2016. Smoking rates decreased in all age groups.

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Adults 25 to 34 years old have the highest percentage of smokers -- 25. 1 percent, according to the OSDH.

“We must continue efforts that prevent smoking”, Governor Mary Fallin said in a press release. “These efforts are as important to achieving a healthy workforce and economy as they are a healthy population."

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