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Local News

Central Oregon Smoking Rate Surprisingly High


Statewide about 7 percent of Oregonians smoke cigarettes regularly.

 

But 11 percent smoke in central Oreogn and it's even higher when you narrow it down to Deschutes County where 14 percent smoke.

 

Anne Palmer runs the smoking cessation program at Bend Memorial Clinic.  She explains the dichotomy.

 

"I think part of the socioeconomic mix that we have here has an effect.  We still have rural based communities that are still open to smokeless tobacco -- you know the cowboy culture in rural places in Deschutes County and Crook County."
 

Deschutes County's smoking rate is 14 percent, but  Crook and Jefferson County's are even higher.  Jefferson's is 15 percent and Crook's is 17 percent.

 

Palmer also believes our "beer culture" here contributes to the higher smoking rate since drinking and smoking often go together.

 

BMC offers free counseling services to people who want to quit.  It's the only such program in the region.

 

 


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