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Smoking

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status = better

We are healthy.

We have adequate nutrition and achieve and
maintain optimal physical and behavioral health.

11% of adults in Travis County are smokers

Indicator: Percent of adults in Travis County who are smokers

Goal: Reduce the percentage of people who smoke

Target: 10% by 2020

Key Trends: The percent of adults in Travis County who report smoking has decreased from 16% in 2011 to 11% in 2014. If this rate of improvement continues, we are on track to meet our community target of 10% by 2020. Black adults report the highest rate of smoking among various racial and ethnic groups, with 17% reporting that they smoke every day or some days and have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime. Smoking is also most prevalent among men and people who earn less than $25,000 a year.

what the data tell us

The percentage of Travis County residents who report being smokers decreased from 16% in 2011 to 11% in 2014. The percent of people who report smoking in Texas and the nation is higher than the local rate. Even thought the smoking rates for Texas and the U.S. have also declined, they have not declined as dramatically as the smoking rates in Travis County and the Austin Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. The sample sizes for BRFSS data are relatively small. Differences appearing on the graph may not be statistically significant at the 95% level and should be interpreted with caution.

the story behind the indicator

According to the Austin/Travis County Health Department’s 2015 Critical Health Indicators Report, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in Austin and Travis County. Each year approximately 600 deaths in Travis County are caused by cigarettes and other tobacco products. The use of tobacco, including smoking cigarettes and using smokeless tobacco, increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as cancer of the lungs, throat, stomach, kidneys and pancreas. Blacks also have the highest mortality rates for cancer, heart disease and stroke.

a closer look

Click on one of the titles below for more information.

» Smoking in Travis County - Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data

Percent who smoke, by race and ethnicity,in Travis County, 2011-2014

Blacks are more likely to report smoking than people of other races or ethnicities. 17% of Blacks, 13% of Hispanics and Whites and 5% of people identifying as other races or ethnicities reported smoking.

Definition:Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by race and ethnicity

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and City of Austin Health and Human Services Department

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. Because the sample sizes for BRFSS data are small, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department has aggregated data for 2011 through 2014 to allow an analysis by sub-population.

percent who smoke, by income, Travis County, 2011-2014

People earning less than $25,000 per year are most likely to smoke, while those earning more than $75,000 a year are least likely to smoke.

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by income

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and City of Austin Health and Human Services Department

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. Because the sample sizes for BRFSS data are small, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department has aggregated data for 2011 through 2014 to allow an analysis by sub-population.

percent who smoke, by gender, Travis County, 2011-2014

Men in Travis County are more likely to smoke than women.

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by gender

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and City of Austin Health and Human Services Department

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. Because the sample sizes for BRFSS data are small, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department has aggregated data for 2011 through 2014 to allow an analysis by sub-population.

percent who smoke, by age, Travis County, 2011-2014

Smoking is most prevalent among people 18 to 44 years of age. People over the age of 65 are least likely to smoke.

Definition: Adults ages 18 and older who smoke everyday or some days and have smoked 100 cigarettes in their lifetime by age

Data Source: Texas Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and City of Austin Health and Human Services Department

Data Considerations: The BRFSS collects data through phone interviews. Because the sample sizes for BRFSS data are small, the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department has aggregated data for 2011 through 2014 to allow an analysis by sub-population.

» Youth Cigarette Smoking in Texas - Youth Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Data

% of students in Texas who Have smoked cigarettes within the past month

8% of Texas students reported smoking cigarettes at least once within the past month. There has been a steady decline in the percentage of students who have reported smoking cigarettes since 2001.

Definition:Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days

Data Source: Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Data Considerations: The Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System is a statewide survey of students. Sample sizes in this survey are not large enough to produce data specific to our community. The YRBSS survey is conducted biennially in odd numbered years.

percent of students in Texas who Have smoked cigarettes within the past month by race and ethnicity

Over time, White youth have had the highest rates of smoking, while Black youth have had the lowest. In 2013, 6% of Black youth reported smoking compared to 14% of Hispanic youth, and 18% of White youth.

Definition: Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days by race and ethnicity

Data Source: Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Data Considerations: The Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System is a statewide survey of students. Sample sizes in this survey are not large enough to produce data specific to our community. The YRBSS survey is conducted biennially on odd numbered years.

percent of students in Texas who Have smoked cigarettes within the past month by gender

Boys have been consistently more likely to report having smoked one or more cigarettes within the past month than girls over the past decade. In 2013, 17% of boys reported smoking within the last month compared to 12% of girls.

Definition: Percentage of students in grades 9-12 who smoked cigarettes on one or more of the past 30 days by gender

Data Source: Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

Data Considerations: The Texas Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System is a statewide survey of students. Sample sizes in this survey are not large enough to produce data specific to our community. The YRBSS survey is conducted biennially in odd numbered years.

» percent of Austin ISD Students who report having used tobacco within the last month

High school students are more likely to report having used tobacco within the last month than middle school students. The percentage of high school and middle school students who report having used tobacco within the last month has declined over the past five years. During the 2013-2014 school year, 9% of high school students and 2% of middle school student report having used tobacco within the past month.

Definition: Percentage of students in high school and middle school in the Austin Independent School District that report using tobacco within the last 30 days.

Data Source: Austin Independent School District, Department of Program Evaluation

Data Considerations: Data are based on a sample of students and may not represent statistically significant changes.

some local efforts to improve this indicator

Collaborative Initiatives

 

  • Central Health has convened a Health Equity Policy Council to consider local policies that can improve health equity. Areas of focus for the Council include: diabetes, obesity, tobacco and HIV/AIDS.

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  • Local partners that ban tobacco on their campuses and properties include the University of Texas at Austin, Capital Metro, Huston-Tillotson University, Austin Public Libraries, City of Austin’s Parks, Seton Healthcare Family, St. David’s Healthcare, Central Health, CommUnityCare, Austin Travis County Integral Care, Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services , Austin Community College, and Travis County. Live Tobacco-Free Austin provides a map of tobacco-free locations here. This list includes many of the area’s largest employers, including Austin ISD, departments across the City of Austin, Dell, Seton Health Care Family, St. David’s Medical Center, and the University of Texas at Austin.

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  • Organizations and governments have also begun to address the use of electronic cigarettes. In 2014, the City of Austin, with support from the Central Health Board of Managers, passed a resolution prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Many other organizations and local governments have expanded their smoke-free policies to include the use of e-cigarettes.

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  • Central Health’s Health Equity Policy Council is made up of community members and stakeholders who consider what policies the community can adopt to address health equity. Tobacco is one of four priority areas.

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  • Organizations and governments across the area have also begun to address the use of electronic cigarettes. In 2014, the City of Austin, with support from the Central Health Board of Managers, passed a resolution prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Many other organizations and local governments have modified existing smoke-free policies to include the use of e-cigarettes, including Austin ISD, Del Valle ISD, Manor ISD, Austin Community College, and the University of Texas at Austin.

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  • The Mayor’s Health and Fitness Council is focused on providing community connections, building alliances and supporting the implementation of best practices and programs that truly affect positive change to healthy lifestyles.  Among other activities, the Fitness Council promotes healthy workplaces by certifying employers that have health initiatives to comprehensively address tobacco-free living, physical activity, and nutrition.

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  • Central Health is the lead agency for a six county Regional Healthcare Partnership Plan that describes how the region will transform healthcare delivery as part of a state-wide 1115 Waiver. The Plan includes several initiatives to address obesity and tobacco, two leading causes of chronic disease.

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Plans, Data, and Reports

 

  • HealthyATC.org is intended to help community members and policy makers learn about the health of the community funded by Central Health, the City of Austin Health & Human Services Department, and Travis County Health & Human Service and Veterans Service. The website provides local health data, resources, best practices, news articles and information about community events. The site provides data on disparities in four priority areas: Diabetes, Obesity, Tobacco and HIV/AIDS.

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  • The Imagine Austin Comprehensive Plan supports the promotion of tobacco cessation programs for children and adults and the development of regulations to support tobacco-free environments.

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vulnerable populations