Letter: Smoking report uplifting despite flawed math

To the editor:

Great news. Smoking rates in Johnson County are decreasing. Adult smoking rates decreased from 26 to 24 percent. That amounts to more than 2,000 fewer people smoking last year. That means a healthier and wealthier population. (I’m not bothered about the money the cigarette companies did not collect from those who quit.) But remember, our rate is still higher than the national average, so there is still work to be done.

Bad news. Someone flunked the math test. A decrease from 26 to 24 percent is a 7.7 per cent decrease (26 minus 24 = 2; 2 divided by 26 equals 7.7 per cent), Or a two percentage point decrease, but not a  2 percent decrease as reported in the newspaper. A 7.7 percent decrease is a big deal.

Dr. Dick Huber


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