In this March 18, 2013 file photo cigarette packs are displayed for sale at a convenience store in New York. No one under 21 would be able to buy cigarettes in New York City under a proposal unveiled Monday, April 22, 2013 to make the city the most populous place in America to set the minimum age that high. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, file)
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky's health commissioner says the typical smoker in Kentucky spent $2,237 to buy 468 packs of cigarettes last year.
Dr. Stephanie Mayfield told lawmakers Thursday nearly 962,000 Kentucky smokers over age 18 last year who purchased 450 million packs of cigarettes.
Mayfield, speaking to the Program Review and Investigations Committee, said 28.4 percent of Kentucky adults smoked last year. She said 24.4 percent of pregnant women smoked as did 24.1 percent of minors.
Despite Kentucky's best efforts to discourage youth smoking, Mayfield said some 6,100 minors begin smoking each year.
Meanwhile, she said, about 7,800 deaths per year are attributed to smoking.