On April 10, 2024

Study: Vermont’s cigarette use has declined

Rates of vaping and use of flavored products by increased

 Newly released data from the Dept. of Health on March 26 show that cigarette use among adult Vermonters is decreasing, but the number of adults who use e-cigarettes, also known as vaping, continues to rise.

The 2022 Adult Tobacco Survey found that nearly one-quarter of adults in Vermont use tobacco products. Of those, 13% use cigarettes, down from 17% in 2016. A smaller proportion of adults use e-cigarettes, but that rate has doubled to 6% since 2016.

The Vermont Adult Tobacco Survey is a periodic survey of Vermont adults 18 years and older. The data are used to help evaluate the effectiveness of state tobacco control efforts to reduce smoking and increase awareness and knowledge of smoking-related issues.

Adults who use e-cigarettes are about 10 years younger than those who smoke, and more likely to use other tobacco products. Flavors have continued to become more popular among all tobacco users. About half (53%) of all Vermonters who use tobacco use a flavored product. That figure rises to 87% among people who vape. Mint/menthol is the most selected flavor, used by 41% of people who currently use tobacco.

Like other health trends seen in Vermont, there are disparities in flavored tobacco use. Survey results show LGBTQ+ Vermonters, young adults, and people who are uninsured or Medicaid-insured are using flavored tobacco at higher rates.

The survey also found that most adults agree smoking and vaping tobacco are very harmful. However, most feel smoking is worse than vaping. With 35% of adults trying to quit by using e-cigarettes, health officials caution that e-cigarettes are not an FDA-approved method of quitting tobacco.

“Quitting tobacco is difficult, which is why we offer a variety of supports and options, so people can quit in a way that works best for them,” said Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD. “But for people who turn to vaping, it’s important to know that e-cigarettes are tobacco products, and they contain a host of toxic chemicals, including nicotine. What works are evidence-based approaches like quit medication paired with counseling, which we offer for free through 802Quits,” said Dr. Levine.

Nearly three-quarters of Vermont adults who use tobacco are familiar with the services offered by 802Quits. By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or going online to 802quits.org, people can tap into resources such as free nicotine replacement products, customized quit supports, and help for staying quit.

The survey also revealed that doctors and other health professions, including pharmacists and dentists, are trusted sources for people thinking about quitting tobacco.

“When someone gets quit resources from their doctor, they are twice as likely to try,” Dr. Levine said.

Participants were also asked about their views of tobacco-related policies. Most adults (53%) support banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in Vermont. Two-thirds agree that tobacco ads should not be posted outside of stores.

Other Survey Highlights:

40% of Vermont adults who use tobacco tried to quit in the past year. Most tried to quit three or more times.

94% of adults in Vermont are aware that breathing secondhand smoke is harmful.

Vermonters primarily experience secondhand smoke and vapor exposure outside of the home.

 For more info, visit: HealthVermont.gov/Tobacco-Data.

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