From the article you linked.
Yea, because no other church teaches against using tobacco or alcohol, or drugs.
Perhaps southerners don't follow the teachings of the church close enough.
IMO, the issues with health in the south are mostly due to diet and lack of exercise, religion has little or nothing to do with it.
Um, from the same article:
Other religious groups who follow these practices rank with Mormons as some of the healthiest Americans, Enstrom said. "But Mormons form a really good model because there's a large number who are really adhering to this [doctrine]," he said.
Reminds me of the joke:
How can you tell someone's not Southern Baptist?
They'll say hello to you in the liquor store.
And personally I don't think religion directly leads to health issues. It assists the feudalistic tendencies that ensure poverty and poor education for a large chunk of citizentry which do lead to health issues.