First off, let me say I'm not a smoker and I am not here to judge anyone who does like to smoke em' if you got em'. That's your right.

Although I think any smoker would probably agree there's been a nationwide crusade going on for some time now to purge smoking from society. Proof of that is just trying to find a place to smoke in public these days right?

Well, according to the latest smoking data it appears to be working. Even in South Dakota.

As a whole the smoking rate in the state is on the decline. The most recent smoking statistics from the South Dakota Department of Health come from 2013. That year the rate  dropped to 19.6 percent compared to 23 percent in 2011.

While it's true there are fewer smokers in South Dakota these days, the smoking rate in the state is still higher than the national average.

A new government report released Tuesday, September 1, shows that the nation's rate dropped to 17 percent last year compared to 18 percent in 2013.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the government's findings Tuesday, based on a large national survey.

For the first three months of 2015 the nation's smoking rate was about 15 percent. However, the data given at the beginning-of-the-year often times tends to be skewed by the temporary impact of New Year's resolutions.

Were you one of those people that attempted to start the New Year by deciding once and for all to finally kick the habit, only to cave yet again?

Need a little incentive to get back on the wagon, check this out. In 2014, the average cost of a pack of 20 cigarettes was around $18.70. Meaning, if you smoke just one pack a day you will spend more than $5,000 a year on smokes. Yikes!

Might be time to spark up another heater and ponder that stat for awhile?

Source: Rapid City Journal