Recent figures released by the California Department of Public Health have revealed that the state boasts of the second-lowest smoking rate in the country.
Just 13.1 percent of the population admitted to smoking in California compared to the national average of 20.6 percent. Health officials in the state are proud of the figures and are delighted that their multi-pronged strategy of curbing smoking has been successful.
California increased the tax on cigarettes in 1988 and used the excess funds generated to launch an anti-tobacco campaign across the state. It also banned smoking in public places such as planes and buses before extending the ban to indoor workplaces and bars. The strategy has proven very successful with the smoking rate in the state falling by more than 22 percent in the last two decades.
Says Colleen Stevens, the chief of the state's Tobacco Control Media Campaign, "In California, we are very proud of our leading role in this revolution of how people view smoking. People are coming to the realization that smoking is not part of a healthy lifestyle."