cigaretteThe latest America’s Health Rankings report released last week showed Iowa moved up two spots to 22nd among the 50 states. One area of improvement was a decrease in adults who smoke.

Health consultant, Garin Buttermore, from the Department of Public Health, says the smoking rate dropped by one percent. “It was at 19-and-half percent in 2014 and then in 2015 it was at 18-and-a-half percent. Now that puts up from 28th to 26th in the nation as far as the ranking of adults who smoke — so we are almost on the good side of halfway,” Buttermore says.

While it wasn’t a huge decrease, the number of adult smokers did drop. “It just shows improvement and it’s a trend that Iowa is moving in the rankings. Adult smoking rates just in general all over America are going down and we are excited that that’s happening,” Buttermore says. He says there are a lot of resources put into helping people quit smoking.

“Call 800-QUITNOW to receive free services there and in all 99 counties we have contracts with local providers to do tobacco control and prevention,” Buttermore explains. “Whether that’s helping to establish smoke-free policies or talking with people in schools about not using tobacco. It just helps that our work is paying off and the state is getting healthier.”

Buttermore says the numbers also show that more people are seeing the downside to smoking. “The money, the health, the smell, the inconvenience, there’s just every reason to quit using traditional tobacco, and no reason to start,” according to Buttermore. The results are for smokers who are 18 years and older, and does not include the use of electronic cigarettes.