Smoking remains the single largest leading cause of preventable disease, death, and disability, in the U.S., accounting for more than 480,000 deaths every year, or about 1 in 5 deaths35. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that adult smoking rates have declined in the US from 1 out of nearly every 535 adults in 2005 to 1 in 10 as of 202036

Carroll County has a long history of tobacco as a means of living for many families. This history has included husband and wife working side by side in the fields along with their children for many decades and the annual “Tobacco Festival” which is entering its 73rd year in 2022. Expectedly, Carroll County has a significantly higher rate of adults who smoke, with a rate of 28% or 1 in 4 adults37.

The financial burden of tobacco use is significant, costing the U.S. billions of dollars each year. Carroll County’s long history with tobacco as an economic driver and familial heritage, presents an especially difficult challenge as it pertains to health status and public opinion of tobacco use and comprehensive tobacco free policies.