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The latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate the U.S. Virgin Islands has by far the lowest tobacco use rate of any U.S. state or territory.

Top losers in the CDC 2009 report were West Virginia and Kentucky, with 25.6% of adults smoking, and Guam was in 4th worst place, with 24.1%.

But, only 6.4% of Virgin Island adults smoke, even lower than Utah, with 9.8%, where the powerful LDS church prohibits smoking.

Virgin Islands also came in best in smokeless tobacco use, 0.8%, and West Virginia again was the big loser at 8.5% (2nd to Wyoming at 9.1%).

Dr. Eugene Tull, the V.I. Health Department’s head epidemiologist, explained that “Smoking rates are low among Caribbean people across the region, and I would suspect it is just cultural. It has not been adopted widely in this part of the world, and low rates have persisted for decades.”

Measurable benefits include lower rates of heart disease, predisposition to diabetes, and other at-risk factors.

Read more at StCroixSource.com and CDC State by State Table.