If you went to school during the 90s, there's a good chance you remember the D.A.R.E. program. It was an initiative to keep kids off of drugs, and the common joke is that kids who participated in D.A.R.E. were the ones who grew up to use drugs. At the time, the drugs that people were the most concerned about were things like alcohol and smoking, though today we know other more serious drugs put youth at risk. 

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You may also remember walking through the halls of your school and seeing graphic, anatomical posters. You know the one I'm talking about. It has a picture of pink, healthy, vibrant lungs next to a picture of lungs with what looks like black mold growing all over them. It looked something like this: 

Healthy lung/Smoker's lung
eranicle/Gett Images

These posters were supposed to keep kids from smoking. 

Many of the people I grew up with did not smoke but then started smoking in their twenties. Still, you don't see that many people smoking anymore. But if you're wondering just how many people smoke, the CDC has the data.

Current Cigarette Use United States
Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

We looked at Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Washington specifically to see what percentage of the population smokes. 

  • Wyoming - 18.4%
  • Montana - 16.6%
  • Idaho - 15.3%
  • Washington -12.6%

In the graphic above, the lighter green represents lower percentages and blue represents higher percentages. Do these results surprise you? It seems to be one of those coastal phenomena--the states to the east or west have lower percentages while states in the middle of the country have higher percentages.

If you wondered like I did if there was a correlation between tobacco production and tobacco use, Statistic.com has the top states for tobacco production. When you compare that to the map above, only two of the top seven states for tobacco production are states with higher percentages of smokers.

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Montana is named Big Sky Country for several reasons, not only grandiose Sunsets but impressive weather events as well! Ask any Montana resident who has scoffed at the idea of tossing a blanket or snow shovel in the trunk of the car ” just in case”. Here is a list of Montana's Top 10 Record-Setting Wild Weather Events

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