NewsLocal News


Smoking rates decline in Nebraska

Posted at 3:42 PM, May 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-15 16:49:15-04

LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) — After three years of a nearly stagnant adult smoking rate, Nebraska made significant progress when the smoking rate dropped from 17.3 percent in 2014 to 15.4 percent in 2017, according to the most recent data.

“Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and disease,” said Amanda Mortensen, program manager of Tobacco Free Nebraska for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “The decreases in the smoking rate are the result of hard work from decision makers, health care providers, community coalitions, and many other partners.”

Some recent examples of social norm changes made to help decrease tobacco use in Nebraska include:

  • Communities implementing tobacco-free park policies.
  • The implementation of smoke-free policies in public housing statewide.
  • Tobacco-free campus policies adopted at universities and colleges.

“With 223,000 adult smokers in Nebraska, there is still a lot of work to be done. The good news is, a combination of smoke-free policies, access to tobacco cessation, increasing the price of tobacco, and hard-hitting media campaigns are proven to reduce tobacco use and the related health effects,” said Mortensen.

Tobacco Free Nebraska offers the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline as a free and confidential resource for Nebraskans who are ready to quit.

For help quitting, the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline is available at 1-800-QUIT-NOW
(1-800-784-8669), and for Spanish services at 1-855-355-3569.
For additional resources, click here.