The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, September 08, 2021 1:00 am

Report: 23.5% in city are smokers

14th highest in nation, 6th for midsize cities

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

The Summit City is also one of America's smokiest cities, based on CDC data.

Fort Wayne ranks sixth among midsized cities for the highest percentage of smokers – 23.5%, according to a report released Tuesday by Filterbuy, a family-owned company that manufactures air filters.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Detroit, the cradle of the auto manufacturing industry, ranks first among cities of all sizes with 28.9% of residents qualifying as smokers.

To calculate the cities and states with the most smokers, researchers at Filterbuy analyzed data on American adults from the CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. To qualify as a smoker, subjects must have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke all or some days.

Only cities with at least 100,000 residents were included in the research, and cities were grouped according to population size: small (100,000–149,999), midsize (150,000–349,999), and large (350,000 or more).

When the three population sizes are combined, Fort Wayne ranks 14th highest nationwide.

Ohio takes the top two spots for midsized cities with a high percentage of smokers. Akron ranked first with 28.3%; Toledo followed with 27.0% of residents being smokers.

Dayton took first place for small cities with 27.5% smokers. Evansville ranked second on that list with 25.4%, and South Bend placed fourth with 24.0% of the adult population being smokers.

Indiana and Ohio received F grades on tobacco prevention and cessation in an American Lung Association report this year. The states also received failing grades for tobacco tax rates and on limiting or preventing flavored tobacco sales.

Indiana received a D for access to smoking cessation services and a C for smoke-free air laws. 

More than 480,000 people die every year from smoking, according to CDC data. 

The medical care required to assist smokers and the lost productivity that result from smoking-related health issues exceeds $300 billion in yearly costs, statistics show.

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