- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - As the nation continues to see fewer smokers, so has South Dakota, although the state’s most recent data show its rate is still higher than the national average.

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

The most recent smoking statistics from the South Dakota Department of Health come from 2013. The rate that year dropped to 19.6 percent compared to 23 percent in 2011.

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

The nation’s smoking rate was about 15 percent for the first three months of 2015. However, beginning-of-the-year survey data tends to be skewed by the temporary impact of New Year’s resolutions.

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