Wiregrass Smoking Rates Decline in All But One County

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Smoking rates may be on the decline across the country, but in Alabama, it's much slower.

According to the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, smoking declines have stagnated in many places in Alabama.

From 1996 to 2012 the percentage of adults who smoke actually increased in some counties, especially among women. Only Shelby and Madison counties matched or exceeded the national average in 2012.

Here's a look at how the wiregrass breaks down:

Covington County is the only county where smoking rates increased. From 1996 to 2012, the number of smokers there went up by 0.8 percent.

Covington and Geneva counties have the highest smoking rates in the Wiregrass with 27 to 30-percent of the population smoking.

Dale County saw the biggest decline in smokers from 1996 to 2012. The number of smokers there decreased more than 4 percent.

Dale, Henry, Coffee and Pike counties have the lowest smoking rates for the Wiregrass with 19.98 to 23.89 percent of the population lighting up.

Up to 27 percent of Houston and Barbour County's populations smoke.

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