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This is Marlboro Country — literally

Brief by Central Staff

Rural Health – December 2001 – Colorado Central Magazine

The Marlboro Man is still too active in Central Colorado, according to the state health department, which issued the results of a two-year study on Nov. 5.

The department’s definition of Central Colorado differs from ours — it covers Clear Creek, Gilpin, and Teller counties in addition to our Chaffee, Custer, Frémont, and Park, and it omits Saguache and Gunnison.

The study found a higher ratio of smokers — 29% of adults as compared to the state average of 20.2%. There are more chewers here, too: 5.1% of adults while the state average is 4.3%

Coloradans on average are among the thinnest people in the nation, but the statewide average still shows that 47.5% of all adults are obese — and here it’s 49.4%. We’re also a grayer part of the state: 27.8% of our population is 55 or older, while statewide it’s 23.5%.

Dr. Tim Byers, a professor of cancer research at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, said that “If there’s one thing this region needs to focus on, it’s tobacco control,” adding that part of the problem is the romance of the Marlboro Man in the rural West.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment had not put the full report on the Internet when we went to press, but that was supposed to happen in the near future, and you can check at It already has similar reports for the Western Slope and the Eastern Plains.