Smoking the Competition: St. Louis Named America's Top City for Smokers

Categories: Lists

smoke.jpg
Aaron Van Dike
St. Louis: America's smokiest city?
Empty your ashtrays and light up, St. Louis, because a newly released study puts us dead last on the Men's Health list of America's smoke-free cities.

Of 100 cities, St. Louis ranks at No. 100. We're in good company; Kansas City, Missouri, is right behind us at No. 98, just behind Jacksonville, Florida.

"Judging by the overflowing ashtrays in St. Louis, we're calling nicotine a Gateway drug," Men's Health magazine posted this week along with their list. "The city smoked the competition in our ranking of places where folks light up."

See also: St. Louis Named No. 5 Most Dangerous City Because No One Knows How Statistics Work

The magazine bases the rankings on six factors: the percentage of people who smoke or used to smoke, the percentage of people with COPD, lung cancer case and death rates, local and state cigarette taxes, state and local laws and the average household budget for tobacco products.

So why St. Louis? Men's Health offers few answers other than to say the Show-Me State shows little support for raising tobacco taxes or funding smoking cessation programs.

smoke1.jpg
anamobe on flickr
Way to smoke the competition, St. Louis.
See also: St. Louis Named Number One Most Deadly Place to Live in America

"The city has a smoke-free policy, but certain places are exempt," says Sarah Bobmeyer, a tobacco policy researcher at Washington University in St. Louis. "The workers aren't protected, and neither are the patrons."

Nationally, the smoking rate has stagnated in the last few years at around 21 percent. More than 22 percent of St. Louisans are smokers, and they go through 14.5 cigarettes a day, according to consumer behavior data from 2011.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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50 comments
Couch Pig
Couch Pig

We also love having Monsanto headquartered here... Dupont also has a fancy building and how about the booze factory?

Deb Woods
Deb Woods

STL is such a hoosier smoker town.

Mike McElhiney
Mike McElhiney

and St Louis Pipe Show is tomorrow at Heart of St Charles Convention Center! :D

Brian Kleekamp
Brian Kleekamp

We must embrace success when we achieve it, no matter where it comes.

Wes Slocum
Wes Slocum

Eddie Rogers check this out, I'm sure it's partly because of St. Charles

Smok Eingspirit
Smok Eingspirit

man has been sitting around since the beginning of time smoking getting drunk and getting laid suddenly we have to give up our property right our freedom so the foreign owned pharmaceutical companies can micro mange our lives

anono2
anono2

Oh. NOW I get it! I looked up the "study". It was done by pro ban grant moochers at Washington University. They get boatloads of pharma patch and gum and lobbying grants to promote smoking bans. "Tobacco policy researcher" is another name for Nicorette shill. They'ld say their mother was a St Louis streetwalker for a quarter!

Christian Taylor
Christian Taylor

good in one dumb way maybe we are the most free? dont like it go someplace else, shop someplace else...eat someplace else... you're free to chose as the business owner should be free to chose for his place of business

Keith Richter
Keith Richter

Missouri is 10 years behind in smoking laws.

Ron Clements
Ron Clements

Winston-Salem and Raleigh beg to differ.

Darla Cook
Darla Cook

We are number 1 again! First in sin too! whoo hoo!

Gimblin
Gimblin

For a minute I thought this "study" was perhaps published by some hack outfit like the New England Journal of Medicine <phew>...... 

OK seriously,Men’s Fitness?!?!?!?   The same folks who named Barack Obama one of the 25 fittest men in America twice . . . while he was still a smoker.  Yeah, I'm convinced.....

Sara Ivie-Trankler
Sara Ivie-Trankler

Lowest tax in the country, for cigarettes. I voted against the tax. Mainly because of being lied to about where the taxes from cigarettes and gambling was going. It never went to education like we were told. That tax only impacts lower incomes because they are typically the smokers.

John Null
John Null

How? Most places have indoor smoking banned.

Keith Giesler
Keith Giesler

So, StL is #1 City in cig smoke, about #5 in getting killed going into the city, etc.. Why do I live here, again? Oh, the weather, that's right.

Kristin Scudder
Kristin Scudder

It is one of the worst. It really REALLY is. If you haven;t lived anywhere else then you wouldn't know it, but it does suck.

Kristin Scudder
Kristin Scudder

And trust me, you all smell like ashtrays. I have lived all over this country and have never seen so many smokers, most are even overwieght on top of it!!

Stacey Heitz
Stacey Heitz

Im from STL and can promise you these littld towns along the Mo, Ark, Ok, and Kansas borders are disgusting . Even the trees are stunted!

TheQ
TheQ

Pre smoking ban it was pretty gross in the Lou. Now, no issue. 

Jason Charney
Jason Charney

Ever visit North Hanley Station? The smokers use the bus shelters then leave their nasty cigarette butts everywhere. Heck they'll smoke on the Metrolink platforms even though there are signs prohibiting it. Also, sometimes one of the drivers will smoke on the bus during their break. They won't let me eat a sandwich in the air conditioned bus, but if you got a two liter of Kool-Aide and carton Marlboro Lights you can get away with smoking and spilling soft drinks all over the place. Nothings more gross than thinking that you sat in piss with the floor being all sticky. Also, Big Tobacco, under the guise of the convenience store and gas station association lobbies hard to keep tobacco taxes low and tobacco sellers well stocked. Hopefully with CVS's decision to oust Tobacco, Walgreens will follow.

Lacey Pyroxene Luscri
Lacey Pyroxene Luscri

The author has clearly never been to Las Vegas, where you can smoke in gas stations if you're playing the slot machines...

Grant Alter
Grant Alter

No, it's definitely nonsense how many places are exempt from the smoking ban.

John Melman McWilliams
John Melman McWilliams

If we trusted their surveys this would be one of the worst 10 cities in America. STL never scores well in their eyes.

Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton

I think Raleigh-Durham or another tobacco producing area would be higher. Depending on the testing lots of studies view city and county as separate places that's why we look like such dangerous bastards.

Lauren Alberts Blasek
Lauren Alberts Blasek

Is this skewed data like the #1 crime rate in the country bc they only include the city and not the counties?

Nicholas B Clemens
Nicholas B Clemens

They used data from before the ban to criticize the effectiveness of the smoking ban...

Tracy Mccormack
Tracy Mccormack

well, guess they aren't as smart as that other poll professed ;-)

Lin Staum
Lin Staum

Gross. It is really disgusting. If only they cared how nasty it is.

Robert A. West
Robert A. West

The lowest excise tax in the country looks like it's paying dividends

TheQ
TheQ

You can't be serious. 

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