In Iowa, the counties with the lowest smoking rates featured more urban areas, including Story and Johnson counties, which feature Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, respectively, and have rates less than 10 percent.
The counties with the highest rates tended to be rural areas, with Wapello County having the highest smoking rate at 20.18 percent. Each county in Iowa saw a decrease in smoking rates during the report's timeline.
Whiteside County in Illinois also saw a decrease in smoking rates from 1996 to 2012. The rate was 25.44 percent in 1996 and was 17.74 percent in 2012, with an annualized rate of change of 2.25 percent.
Researchers used county-level data of cigarette smoking from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is a telephone survey on a large number of health-related behaviors and conditions for the adult population.