Report: Cigarette smoking higher in rural areas than urban spots
MILWAUKEE- A new report by the American Lung Association found that rural lifestyle results in more cigarette smoking than urban life.
According to Dona Wininsky, the director of the American Lung Association (ALA), the social acceptability of smoking cigarettes is higher in rural areas.
"Rural imagery is used more often in smoking advertisements," said Wininsky to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."
She said the Marlboro Man, a rural embodiment, is one of the most well known and iconic characters used in tobacco advertisements.
The data found that among 18-34-year-olds, nearly 44 percent of those living in rural areas smoke cigarettes, compared to only 33 percent in urban areas. Only among the 65+ age group did urban areas have higher smoking rates than rural ones.
Wininsky argues that since there is less exposure to anti-smoking ads and fewer health resources in rural areas -- there are higher smoking rates, especially among youths.
People like Chloe Spriggle wants to help people cut down on smoking -- particularly in rural areas.
She works for Fighting Against Corporate Tobacco (FACT). The organization's website said the group is a youth-led movement whose goal is to "fight Big Tobacco"
"We are trying to help people in the community," said Spriggle to "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."
She was born and raised into a family of smokers in a rural area
She said her grandmother smoked and died from lung cancer -- which was a very painful time for her and her family.
"We want to let people to know how bad smoking is for you," said Spriggle.
Tobacco use is the nation's leading cause of preventable illness and death, says the ALA. It is costing the United States $200 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity, according to the report.