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Smoking - Women
Smoking - Women in Louisiana

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Louisiana Value:


Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke daily or some days

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Smoking - Women by State

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke daily or some days

Smoking - Women Trends

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke daily or some days

Trend: Smoking - Women in Louisiana, United States, 2023 Health Of Women And Children Report

Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke daily or some days

United States

 CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

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About Smoking - Women

US Value: 12.1%

Top State(s): California: 5.9%

Bottom State(s): West Virginia: 26.2%

Definition: Percentage of women ages 18-44 who reported smoking at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoke daily or some days

Data Source and Years: CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2020-2021

Suggested Citation: America's Health Rankings analysis of CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, United Health Foundation,, accessed 2023.

Smoking cigarettes has an adverse impact on overall health. As the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, cigarette smoking is responsible for the deaths of more than 480,000 Americans every year, including 201,770 women. One study estimated the probability of female smokers living to age 80 to be 38%, compared with 70% for female nonsmokers. Smoking damages nearly every organ and is associated with heart disease and stroke, lung disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple types of cancer and more. 

Non-smokers are also affected by smoking. Secondhand smoke exposure can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), respiratory and ear infections in infants and children and heart disease and lung cancer in adults. Exposure to secondhand smoke is estimated to cause about 41,000 deaths among U.S. adults every year. 

Smoking may affect reproductive health. Women who smoke are more likely to have reduced fertility, go through menopause at a younger age and experience adverse birth outcomes, including miscarriage and SIDS. Infants born to women who smoked during pregnancy have a higher risk of preterm birth, low birth weight and issues with lung and brain development that can last into childhood or adulthood.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the popularity of e-cigarettes, especially among youth

Smoking is estimated to cost the U.S. more than $600 billion dollars annually, including more than $240 billion in healthcare spending and nearly $185 billion from lost productivity due to smoking-related illness.

According to America’s Health Rankings data, the prevalence of smoking is higher among:

  • Women ages 35-44 compared with women ages 18-24.
  • American Indian/Alaska Native women, who have a prevalence nearly eight times higher than Asian women.
  • Women without a college degree compared with college graduates. 
  • Women with an annual household income less than $25,000 compared with women with an income of $75,000 or more. 
  • Women living in non-metropolitan areas compared with women in metropolitan areas.

Quitting smoking can have profound benefits on current and long-term health, even among heavy and lifelong smokers:

  • Individuals who quit smoking before age 40 live an average of 10 years longer than those who continue. 
  • The risk of stroke becomes similar to that of nonsmokers five years after quitting. 
  • Pregnant women who quit smoking during the first trimester give birth to infants of comparable weight and height to those of nonsmoking women. 

A variety of interventions are effective for smoking prevention and cessation. States that have expanded Medicaid coverage for tobacco cessation programs have shown declines in smoking prevalence. This is a particularly important area for improvement because of the high prevalence of smokers enrolled in Medicaid. Excise taxes and increased prices have been effective in preventing nonsmokers from starting, increasing cessation and decreasing smoking-related health problems. The American Lung Association highlights other policies that support measures to eliminate the tobacco industry’s targeting of women, communities of color, and the LGBTQ community. 

Additional smoking prevention and cessation resources include: 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Health Online Resource Center offers guidelines on and examples of successful programs for preventing and controlling tobacco use.
  • County Health Rankings & Roadmaps’ What Works for Health tool provides a list of evidence-based strategies to address tobacco use. 
  • provides free, accurate and evidence-based information as well as professional assistance to support the immediate and long-term needs of smokers trying to quit. There are also resources specifically for women and pregnant women. Estimates have shown that for every dollar invested in smoking cessation programs and relapse prevention for pregnant women, $3 are saved in future health care costs.

Healthy People 2030 has multiple objectives regarding adult tobacco use, including:

Chaloupka, Frank J., Kurt Straif, and Maria E. Leon. 2011. “Effectiveness of Tax and Price Policies in Tobacco Control.” Tobacco Control 20 (3): 235–38.

DiGiulio, Anne, Zach Jump, Stephen Babb, Anna Schecter, Kisha-Ann S. Williams, Debbie Yembra, and Brian S. Armour. 2020. “State Medicaid Coverage for Tobacco Cessation Treatments and Barriers to Accessing Treatments — United States, 2008–2018.” MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 69 (6): 155–60.

Gallaway, M. Shayne, S. Jane Henley, C. Brooke Steele, Behnoosh Momin, Ahmed Jamal, Katrina F. Trivers, Cheryll C. Thomas, Simple D. Singh, and Sherri L. Stewart. 2018. “Surveillance for Cancers Associated with Tobacco Use — United States, 2010–2014.” MMWR. Surveillance Summaries 67 (12): 1–42.

Jha, Prabhat, Chinthanie Ramasundarahettige, Victoria Landsman, Brian Rostron, Michael Thun, Robert N. Anderson, Tim McAfee, and Richard Peto. 2013. “21st-Century Hazards of Smoking and Benefits of Cessation in the United States.” New England Journal of Medicine 368 (4): 341–50.

Moore, Elizabeth, Kaitlin Blatt, Aimin Chen, James Van Hook, and Emily A. DeFranco. 2016. “Relationship of Trimester-Specific Smoking Patterns and Risk of Preterm Birth.” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 215 (1): 109.e1-109.e6.

Räisänen, Sari, Ulla Sankilampi, Mika Gissler, Michael R. Kramer, Tuovi Hakulinen-Viitanen, Juho Saari, and Seppo Heinonen. 2014. “Smoking Cessation in the First Trimester Reduces Most Obstetric Risks, but Not the Risks of Major Congenital Anomalies and Admission to Neonatal Care: A Population-Based Cohort Study of 1,164,953 Singleton Pregnancies in Finland.” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 68 (2): 159–64.

Ruger, Jennifer Prah, and Karen M. Emmons. 2008. “Economic Evaluations of Smoking Cessation and Relapse Prevention Programs for Pregnant Women: A Systematic Review.” Value in Health 11 (2): 180–90.

Salihu, Hamisu M., and Roneé E. Wilson. 2007. “Epidemiology of Prenatal Smoking and Perinatal Outcomes.” Early Human Development 83 (11): 713–20.

Shah, Reena S., and John W. Cole. 2010. “Smoking and Stroke: The More You Smoke the More You Stroke.” Expert Review of Cardiovascular Therapy 8 (7): 917–32.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2014. “The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General.” Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health.

Whitcomb, Brian W., Alexandra C. Purdue-Smithe, Kathleen L. Szegda, Maegan E. Boutot, Susan E Hankinson, JoAnn E. Manson, Bernard Rosner, Walter C. Willett, A. Heather Eliassen, and Elizabeth R. Bertone-Johnson. 2018. “Cigarette Smoking and Risk of Early Natural Menopause.” American Journal of Epidemiology 187 (4): 696–704.

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