"That's important," Cline said. But the state still lags behind the progress experienced by other states and has been well above the national average for smoking for the past 11 years.
Statistics provided by the United Health Foundation show the state ranks high in the number of cancer and cardiovascular deaths, diseases Cline said are linked to smoking. The state averages about 200 cancer deaths per 100,000 residents, but the rate of cardiovascular deaths is an alarming 330 per 100,000 residents — 48th in the nation.
"One in four Oklahomans smoke, and it's the number one preventable cause of death," Cline said.
Obesity is another issue that has a negative impact on the state's overall health. Almost one in three adults in the state, or 888,000 people, is classified as obese and at an increased risk for ill health.
One consequence of obesity is diabetes, which afflicts more than one in nine adults in Oklahoma, or 317,000 people.
"We have an epidemic of children with diabetes," Cline said. Without reversing the trend, almost an entire generation of Oklahomans will be forced to manage the disease throughout their lives, he said.
Finally, Oklahoma ranked 45th in the nation in the percent of the adult population who live sedentary lifestyles, meaning they get no exercise other than what they experience on the job. About 891,000 Oklahomans are classified as sedentary, an important indicator for future obesity rates.
Cline said Oklahomans are showing progress in improving their health, steps that are reflected in the national health rankings.
"Having that relative ranking of 43rd is very good news. But it's not advancing as rapidly as it is in other states," Cline said. "We're trending in the right direction. But it's not good enough."
Oklahoma Health Improvement Plan: www.shapeyourfutureok.com