Less than 20 percent of U.S. residents smoked cigarettes in 2012, according to data from the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
For years the percentage of U.S. residents who smoke had hovered above the 20 percent mark, but in 2012 only 18.1 percent of people said they smoked.
And it’s quite possible that higher cigarette taxes might have something to do with the habit-kicking.
Not only have several states increased cigarette excise taxes in recent years, the federal cigarette tax more than doubled in 2009 -- from 39 cents to $1.01 per pack.
When we posted our map of cigarette taxes a few days ago, science writer Erin Brodwin tweeted at us, asking if there was any correlation between state cigarette taxes and how many people smoked in that state.
— Erin Brodwin (@erbrod) February 7, 2014
So we decided to map both data points to see how they compare. And yes, Erin, there's definitely a correlation. The states that have high cigarette taxes had far fewer smokers per capita than the states with lower taxes.
Here’s the map of state excise taxes again.
Here’s a map of the number of smokers per capita in each state.
They look pretty similar!
Here they are overlayed -- the pink map is the one of taxes, and the green one is of per capita smokers. Drag the slider to compare the two: