Wednesday, November 19, 2014


There is only one county in the U.S. where over half of all adults smoke. Scott County, Tennessee, has 51 percent of its adults listed as smokers, according to data on this site. While near the Kentucky border, it's not a huge tobacco growing county. It is in the fourth quartile among all U.S. counties in terms of premature death, in lack of physical or mental health, children in poverty, and unemployment.

A caveat -- some counties have relatively small sample sizes. Scott County's, for example, is 82, so the 95 percent confidence interval would be from 33 percent to 69 percent. Also, not all counties have data available. These data list the percent smoking for 2,713 of 3,144 counties.

The Top Smoking Counties

1. Scott (Tennessee)
2. Limestone (Texas)
3. Northwest Arctic (Alaska)
4. (tie) Ripley in Missouri and Upshur in Texas

And so on. The highest Georgia County is Lincoln, with 44 percent of its adults listed as smokers, ranked for 13th in the country. Kentucky counties appear regularly in the top of the list.

The lowest? Madison County, Idaho, followed by some Utah counties, no doubt a Mormon effect. The lowest Georgia county is Burke, with only 9 percent listed as adult smokers.

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