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Officials: Utah makes strides against teen smoking

Published: Friday, March 9 2012 8:25 a.m. MST

SALT LAKE CIY — Utah health officials credit a $1-per-pack cigarette tax and statewide prevention programs for bringing the state's youth smoking rate to 5.9 percent, down from 12 percent in 1999.

Utah Department of Health chief Dr. David Patton says a new U.S. Surgeon General report affirms the state's anti-smoking efforts.

A tax hike passed in 2010 reduced annual cigarette sales from 26.7 packs per capita to 22.3 packs per capita in one year.

Utah also boasts a teen smoking rate that's less than one-third the national rate of 19.5 percent.

Health officials say there's still more work to be done. More than 200,000 youth and adults in Utah still smoke.

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