Three new reports released by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control on Thursday, June 1, show that ongoing tobacco control policies are having a positive impact, health officials said.
Among the impacts seen so far is a drop in the use of all tobacco products by middle and high school students.
The New York Youth Tobacco Survey, a school-based survey of middle and high school students, found that cigarette smoking fell from 27.1 percent in 2000 to 2.1 percent in 2022 among high school students.
Their e-cigarette use, or vaping rate, dropped from a high of 27.4 percent in 2018 to 18.7 percent in 2022, the report found.
Health officials also touted another report that specifically looked at the impact that tobacco control policies adopted in 2019 and 2020 have had.
According to that report, sales and use of flavored vaping products decreased across New York after flavored vaping products were banned in 2019 and the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vape products was raised to 21.
In recent years, state lawmakers have also established a 20 percent tax on vaping products, citing American Lung Association reporting that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes cuts down on consumption by about 4 percent among adults and about 7 percent among teens.
The state’s 2024 budget increases the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $1, to $5.35, the highest cigarette tax in the country.
Health officials also cited policy changes enacted in 2020 meant to make it harder for teens to access tobacco, specifically vaping products.
Among them was ending tobacco and vaping sales in pharmacies, ending discounts on tobacco products, and stopping the shipment and delivery of vapor products to private homes.
"These reports are solid evidence that our policies aimed at improving health outcomes by restricting the purchase of harmful tobacco products are effective," Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said in a statement.
"The intent of banning the sale of flavored vaping products and restrictions on certain other tobacco sales was to prevent young people from starting a deadly addiction and to encourage adults to quit,” he continued.
“We've made progress, but have more work to do, both in public education and in policy, to combat this public health threat, including continuing to push for a ban on flavored tobacco products such as menthol."
More information on the Tobacco Control Program can be found on the New York State Department of Health website.
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