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Tobacco use in NY has dramatically declined, but flavored products are still a concern

Mar 20, 2022 12:45 am

Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics that smoking and tobacco use in New York are at historic lows, especially among youth and teenagers, but advocates for reducing tobacco use say there are more complicated problems to be addressed. Jeanie Orr, of the Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities, said increased taxes on cigarettes and restrictions on where someone can smoke and legislation that increased the age when teens can buy tobacco products have sharply reduced tobacco use. But while smoking has declined among high school students and the general adult population, flavored tobacco usage remains at an elevated rate. "People may not be smoking cigarettes as much, but they are using those other flavored products at a higher rate," Orr said. While the smoking rate among high school students has dropped to 2.4 percent, e-cigarette usage is at 22.5 percent statewide as devices have become less expensive. Orr said one tool to combat e-cigarette usage could be to boost taxes on those products in the state budget. People in mental distress have smoking rates twice as high as the general adult population, and for people with low income, and low education. Orr said, "It's really disturbing that this group has been left behind in a way." Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.