Nov 16

One in Five US Adults Use Tobacco; Cigarette Smoking Among Adults is Down

Headline , Research , Smoking , Tobacco

tobacco research

Cigarette Smoking Overall Among Adults In The U.S. Is Down


(HealthDay News) — About one in 5 US adults currently uses any tobacco product, according to a study published online in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Elyse Phillips, MPH, from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and colleagues used data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey to examine the most recent national estimates of tobacco product use among adults. Data were included for 33,672 adults aged 18 years and older.

The researchers found that 20.1% of US adults currently used any tobacco product, 17.6% used any combustible tobacco product, and 3.9% used two or more tobacco products in 2015. By product, 15.1% of adults used cigarettes; 3.5% used electronic cigarettes; 3.4% cigars, cigarillos, or filtered little cigars; 2.3% used smokeless tobacco; and 1.2% used regular pipes, water pipes, or hookahs. Males had higher current use of any tobacco product, as did those aged >65 years; whites, blacks, and those of multiple races; individuals with annual household income of <$35,000; those with a General Educational Development Certificate; and those who were single, never married, not living with a partner, divorced, separated, or widowed. Current use of any tobacco product was 47.2 and 19.2% among adults with and without serious psychological distress, respectively.

“Proven population-level interventions that focus on the diversity of tobacco product use are important to reducing tobacco-related disease and death in the United States,” the authors write.


Phillips E, Wang T, Husten CG. Tobacco Product Use Among Adults — United States, 2015. MMWR November 10, 2017 / 66(44);1209–1215. CDC.


Article Source: Renal & Urology News

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Sep 27

Tobacco Bills 2017 State Legislative Summary




Lawmakers across the country impose new taxes, increase legal age of purchase

Source: CSPNet September 27, 2017 MINNEAPOLIS — With only several state legislatures yet to conclude their 2017 legislative sessions, the outcome of various tobacco legislation in most states is now clear.

Cigarettes and Tobacco Products Taxation

This year, 28 states considered bills to raise cigarette and/or tobacco-product tax rates in some form. These states are Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming and Utah. Three of these states passed and enacted tax changes, including Delaware (50-cents-per-pack cigarette-tax increase, 15% increase on OTP and 38-cent tax increase on moist snuff), New York (modified the tax on large cigars from 75% of wholesale to 45 cents per cigar) and Rhode Island (increased tax rate on cigarettes by 50 cents). In addition, Minnesota removed the automatic inflator on the excise tax per pack of cigarettes and froze the cigarette tax rate at $3.04 per pack. Additionally, Minnesota reduced the tax cap on premium cigars from $3.50 to 50 cents per cigar. Finally, California voters approved a ballot question last November that raised the state’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack and also increased the OTP tax to 65.08%. These tax increases went into effect on July 1, 2017.

E-Cigarettes and Vapor Products Taxation

This year also produced an increasing number of states introducing legislation to assess a new tax on e-cigarettes and vapor products. Fifteen states considered bills to enact a new tax: Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia. Of the bills introduced in these states, only two were enacted into law. Delaware passed a new tax on vapor products at 5 cents per fluid milliliter on nicotine solution and New York passed a tax modification on vapor products to 40 cents per fluid milliliter. Further, the Kansas legislature decreased the excise tax on vapor products from 20 cents per milliliter of e-liquid to 5 cents.

Age 21 to Buy

In 2017, 27 state legislatures had bills introduced to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco products to either age 19 or 21. So far, the states of Oregon, New Jersey and Maine have enacted a statewide law to increase the legal minimum age to purchase to 21 years old. These states join California and Hawaii, increasing the total to five states with a minimum legal age to purchase at 21. Bills introduced to raise the legal age to 21 that did not pass were considered by lawmakers in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Washington. Also, a bill in North Dakota that would have raised the legal age to 19 years old failed.

Despite much progress in reducing tobacco use, much work remains to be done.

What's happening with tobacco use in Nebraska?
In 2015, 30.5 percent of Nebraska high school youth reported currently using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Among Nebraska high school youth, $1.1M 13.3 percent reported currently smoking cigarettes.

What Can You Do?

Reducing tobacco use is a long-term effort. Keeping the issue on the 'front burner" helps maintain momentum for efforts to reduce tobacco use.

Below you will be able to download an infographic that charts out how much is spent on tobacco lobbying throughout the United States. Download and share it with your friends, coalition members, social accounts and more!
Sep 25

Ending the Tobacco Epidemic in Nebraska


Did You Know?

Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States, despite a significant decline in the number of people who smoke. Over 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking. This amounts to $170 billion in direct medical costs that could be saved every year if we could prevent youth from starting to smoke and help every person who smokes to quit.
What about Nebraska?
In 2015, 30.5 percent of Nebraska high school youth reported currently using any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes. Among Nebraska high school youth, $1.1M 13.3 percent reported currently smoking cigarettes.


There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults. Nebraska has a comprehensive smoke-free law that prohibits smoking in all indoor areas of workplaces, restaurants, and bars that has been in effect since 2009. Since that law was adopted, Nebraska has continued to expand areas where residents are protected from exposure to secondhand smoke. Upon request, the state provides research, data and analysis, and scientific consultation to communities, multiunit housing operators, hospitals, businesses, and colleges and universities that want to protect residents from secondhand smoke. For example, the University of Nebraska Omaha has established a tobacco-free campus. Additionally, Community Alliance, a social service agency with treatment centers that help adults with mental illness, recently implemented a tobacco-free campus which includes 88 housing units for residents. Throughout Nebraska, 39 public housing authorities have made some or all of their housing units smoke-free.

What Can You Do?

Below you'll be able to download a PDF infographic with this information. You can share this information with your friends, Facebook contacts, coalition members. You can include this information with a news release, or when meeting with decision makers about tobacco use in Nebraska.
Sep 12

Despite Much Progress, Nearly 4 Million Youth Continue to Use Tobacco Products; Work Remains To Be Done



Over the past two decades, there have been tremendous strides in reducing youth tobacco use.

Efforts to reduce youth tobacco use must continue to maintain these strides and help keep other kids from becoming hooked. The 2016 Monitoring the Future survey showed not only that the historic, decades-long decline in youth cigarette smoking continued in 2016. It also provided the first evidence that the dramatic rise in youth e-cigarette use may be starting to reverse. Youth use of cigars and hookah (water pipes) also fell.

Cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death in our country and kills nearly half a million Americans every year.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, since peaking in 1996-1997, smoking rates have fallen by 71 percent among 12th graders (from 36.5 percent to 10.5 percent who smoke), by 84 percent among 10th graders (from 30.4 percent to 4.9 percent) and by 88 percent among 8th graders (from 21 percent to 2.6 percent). Smoking rates are at record lows among all three age groups. Millions of kids have been prevented from starting down a path that so often ends with devastating diseases and premature death. remains a problem throughout United states, including in Nebraska.  

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2016:

  • Nearly 4 million U.S. middle & high school students currently used tobacco products
  • About half used two or more tobacco products

Help spread the word that youth tobacco use remains a problem. Share this infographic!


Jul 28

FDA announces comprehensive regulatory plan to shift trajectory of tobacco-related disease, death Agency to pursue lowering nicotine in cigarettes to non-addictive levels and create more predictability in tobacco regulation


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced a new comprehensive plan for tobacco and nicotine regulation that will serve as a multi-year roadmap to better protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death. The approach places nicotine, and the issue of addiction, at the center of the agency’s tobacco regulation efforts. The goal is to ensure that the FDA has the proper scientific and regulatory foundation to efficiently and effectively implement the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. To make certain that the FDA is striking an appropriate balance between regulation and encouraging development of innovative tobacco products that may be less dangerous than cigarettes, the agency is also providing targeted relief on some timelines described in the May 2016 final rule that extended the FDA’s authority to additional tobacco products. The agency will also seek input on critical public health issues such as the role of flavors in tobacco products.

Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, causing more than 480,000 deaths every single year. In addition to the devastating human toll caused mainly by cigarette smoking, tobacco also causes substantial financial costs to society, with direct health care and lost productivity costs totaling nearly $300 billion a year. A key piece of the FDA’s approach is demonstrating a greater awareness that nicotine – while highly addictive – is delivered through products that represent a continuum of risk and is most harmful when delivered through smoke particles in combustible cigarettes.

“The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes –  the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “Unless we change course, 5.6 million young people alive today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use. Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts – and we believe it’s vital that we pursue this common ground.”

The FDA plans to begin a public dialogue about lowering nicotine levels in combustible cigarettes to non-addictive levels through achievable product standards. The agency intends to issue an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to seek input on the potential public health benefits and any possible adverse effects of lowering nicotine in cigarettes. Because almost 90 percent of adult smokers started smoking before the age of 18 and nearly 2,500 youth smoke their first cigarette every day in the U.S., lowering nicotine levels could decrease the likelihood that future generations become addicted to cigarettes and allow more currently addicted smokers to quit.

“Because nicotine lives at the core of both the problem and the solution to the question of addiction, addressing the addictive levels of nicotine in combustible cigarettes must be part of the FDA’s strategy for addressing the devastating, addiction crisis that is threatening American families,” said Commissioner Gottlieb. “Our approach to nicotine must be accompanied by a firm foundation of rules and standards for newly-regulated products. To be successful all of these steps must be done in concert and not in isolation.”

The FDA is committed to encouraging innovations that have the potential to make a notable public health difference and inform policies and efforts that will best protect kids and help smokers quit cigarettes. To make this effort successful, the agency intends to extend timelines to submit tobacco product review applications for newly regulated tobacco products that were on the market as of Aug. 8, 2016. This action will afford the agency time to explore clear and meaningful measures to make tobacco products less toxic, appealing and addictive. For example, the FDA intends to develop product standards to protect against known public health risks such as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) battery issues and concerns about children’s exposure to liquid nicotine. It also will provide manufacturers additional time to develop higher quality, more complete applications informed by additional guidance from the agency.

The agency plans to issue this guidance describing a new enforcement policy shortly. Under expected revised timelines, applications for newly-regulated combustible products, such as cigars, pipe tobacco and hookah tobacco, would be submitted by Aug. 8, 2021, and applications for non-combustible products such as ENDS or e-cigarettes would be submitted by Aug. 8, 2022. Additionally, the FDA expects that manufacturers would continue to market products while the agency reviews product applications.

Importantly, the anticipated new enforcement policy will not affect any current requirements for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, only the newly-regulated tobacco products such as cigars and e-cigarettes. This approach also will not apply to provisions of the final rule for which compliance deadlines already have passed, such as mandatory age and photo-ID checks to prevent illegal sales to minors. It also will not affect future deadlines for other provisions of the rule, including, but not limited to, required warning statements, ingredient listing, health document submissions, harmful and potentially harmful constituent reports, and the removal of modified risk claims, i.e., “light,” “low,” or “mild,” or similar descriptors.

In order to further explore how best to protect public health in the evolving tobacco marketplace, the agency also will seek input from the public on a variety of significant topics, including approaches to regulating kid-appealing flavors in e-cigarettes and cigars. In particular, the FDA intends to issue ANPRMs to: 1) seek public comment on the role that flavors (including menthol) in tobacco products play in attracting youth and may play in helping some smokers switch to potentially less harmful forms of nicotine delivery; and 2) solicit additional comments and scientific data related to the patterns of use and resulting public health impacts from premium cigars, which were included in the FDA’s 2016 rule. Additionally, the agency plans to examine actions to increase access and use of FDA-approved medicinal nicotine products, and work with sponsors to consider what steps can be taken under the safety and efficacy standard for products intended to help smokers quit.

“This comprehensive plan and sweeping approach to tobacco and nicotine allows the FDA to apply the powerful tools given by Congress to achieve the most significant public health impact,” said Mitch Zeller, J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “Public input on these complex issues will help ensure the agency has the proper science-based policies in place to meaningfully reduce the harms caused by tobacco use.”

To complement these larger policy considerations, the FDA plans to issue foundational rules to make the product review process more efficient, predictable, and transparent for manufacturers, while upholding the agency’s public health mission. Among other things, the FDA intends to issue regulations outlining what information the agency expects to be included in Premarket Tobacco Applications (PMTAs), Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) applications and reports to demonstrate Substantial Equivalence (SE). The FDA also plans to finalize guidance on how it intends to review PMTAs for ENDS. The agency also will continue efforts to assist industry in complying with federal tobacco regulations through online information, meetings, webinars and guidance documents.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, promotes and protects the public health by, among other things, assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.




Jul 27

1 in 3 dementia cases are potentially preventable, report says


One in three cases of dementia could be prevented by tackling risk factors such as education and depression, a large new international review estimates.

A team of 24 experts in dementia conducted the review on prevention and care.

A recent issue of The Lancet and at this year’s Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, researchers model how nine health and lifestyle factors contribute to about 35 per cent of dementia.

For instance, they said that if everyone reaped the brain stimulation and interaction of staying in school until over the age of 15, the total number of dementia cases could be reduced.

Controllable factors they identified as important in midlife are preserving hearing and treating high blood pressure and obesity.

In late life, they said, controlling depression, smoking and social isolation are important.

Maintaining physical activity and controlling diabetes also help. But they said that overall, 65 per cent of the risk isn’t considered potentially modifiable.

Source: The National


How many people in your community know about the connection between smoking and dementia? Here’s a chance to educate your community and engage community members in your efforts. Below you can download a draft news release regarding the connection between smoking and dementia, and encouraging parents to talk with their kids about smoking. 

If you use this news release, please remember that your local media want to see original news. You can fill in the blanks on this news release, and you’ll be almost ready to send it to your news media, but you’ll want to make changes to the news content as well to make it your own.


I Want the News Release
May 26

How Big Tobacco stopped a smoking tax in ‘Marlboro Country’


HELENA, Mont. (AP) – When the Montana Senate voted this spring for what would have been the state’s first tobacco tax increase in 12 years, Big Tobacco lobbyists swarmed the Capitol in Helena.

With a crucial committee hearing about the bill looming in Montana’s House, cigarette retailers and vape shop owners were coached by a lobbying pro on how to oppose it with concise and disciplined testimony. Residents inundated lawmakers with calls and emails mostly railing against the tax. A tobacco lobbyist with deep GOP ties appealed directly to the Republican House speaker.

Within a week the bill was dead, its demise a textbook example of how a well-financed industry can torpedo legislation.

Tobacco and other “sin taxes” perennially surface in many legislative sessions, and cigarette makers are used to fighting back. But Montana lawmakers and lobbyists say the opposition this year was particularly fierce.

“Montana is considered Marlboro Country,” said Kristin Page Nei, a lobbyist for the American Cancer Society that supported the tax. Tobacco’s supporters “know that if a red state like Montana can pass a tax, that other states will follow suit.”

Public records and interviews with a dozen lawmakers and lobbyists reveal that two of the nation’s largest tobacco companies launched an expensive and effective lobbying campaign to kill the Montana bill, which would have raised the state tax on cigarettes by $1.50 a pack and set a 74 percent tax on the wholesale price of vaping products, the state’s first such tax.

Montana has had the same $1.70 tax on each pack of cigarettes since 2005, and the tobacco industry wanted to prevent another increase after it unsuccessfully fought a California voter initiative last November to raise cigarette taxes by $2 a pack.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Mary Caferro of Helena, saw the higher Montana tax as a way to reduce smoking and the rate at which children use vaping products. The measure had rare bipartisan support in the solidly Republican Montana Legislature, thanks in large part to its potential to shore up the cash-strapped state’s budget.

Altria Group, the parent company of Phillip Morris USA, and R.J. Reynolds focused their campaign on Montana’s House, where strong anti-tax sentiment among conservative lawmakers was exacerbated by the recent passage of a state fuel tax increase.

The two companies spent a combined $147,000 on lobbying lawmakers in the first three months of the legislative session, according to disclosure reports filed with state commissioner of political practices.

Most spending came in March, when the tobacco tax bill began moving in the Senate, and the amount actually spent is certain to increase when April’s disclosure reports are filed at the end of May.

The records made public so far show the two companies spent more money lobbying Montana lawmakers this session than they have over the last decade. Altria’s $120,000 topped all lobbyist spending during the first three months.

Vape shop owners were coached on how to present compelling testimony before the House Taxation Committee. Extra tobacco industry lobbyists were hired so they could reach out to state legislators not courted routinely by the sector.

Altria spent $31,000 on advertising and communications in March, according to the disclosure reports. Posters and handbills appeared in convenience stores, gas stations and vape shops – urging tobacco buyers to reach to their legislators and complain about the tax increase.

“The legislators were getting hammered with emails and phone calls around this issue,” said Amanda Cahill, a lobbyist for the American Heart Association, which also supported the bill.

R.J. Reynolds lobbyist E.J. Redding reported spending $1,960 on entertainment in March, including a $207 tab for a dinner attended by House Speaker Austin Knudsen and freshman lawmakers.

Redding and Altria lobbyist Mark Baker, who is a well-connected former executive director of the state GOP and has worked on the staff of a former U.S. senator and a representative, met privately with Knudsen to urge him to oppose the bill.

“Yes, there were attempts by the tobacco lobbyists to influence all of the members of the House, I imagine,” Knudsen said. “They did not influence our decision.”

Eleven of the 13 Republican bill co-sponsors changed their minds and bailed. Several insisted lobbying didn’t affect them, saying they did research that convinced them to agree with the lobbyists’ opposition talking points.

Six days after the Senate passed the bill, the House Taxation Committee held a hearing in which dozens of people testified for and against the measure.

The next day, the committee killed the bill with a rarely used measure called an “adverse committee report” that makes it nearly impossible for bills to be voted on by the House.

That same committee also approved a new estimate forecasting Montana would take in an additional $100 million in revenue over the next two years – essentially eliminating financial justification for the tobacco tax increase.

Rep. Zach Brown, a Bozeman Democrat and a taxation committee member, said he opposed the bill because it would have hit poor smokers the hardest.

But he believes the adverse committee report was a strategy hatched by tobacco lobbyists.

“They put the death nail in it, for sure,” Brown said.

An increase in cigarette taxes would be used to fund public health services under a bill heard by the Revenue Committee March 17.

<a href=’′ target=’_blank’ title=’Link to the website of Sen. Sara Howard’>Sen. Sara Howard</a>
Sen. Sara Howard
LB438, introduced by Omaha Sen. Sara Howard, would raise taxes on a pack of 20 cigarettes from 64 cents to $2.14 beginning July 1, 2017. Cigarette tax revenue credited to the state’s general funds would increase from 49 cents per pack to $1.24. The bill also would increase the tax on other tobacco products — excluding snuff — from 20 percent of the purchase price to 65 percent.

Howard said more than 150,000 teens start smoking in the U.S. each year. If current tobacco use patterns continue, she said, approximately 38,000 youths under age 18 who continue to smoke into adulthood will die prematurely from smoking-related illnesses.

“Raising the tax on tobacco products may not only deter abuse by youths but provide much-needed revenue for our state during a time of severe economic shortfalls,” Howard said.

The Legislative Fiscal Office and the state Department of Revenue estimate the bill would increase general funds by approximately $50 million.

Additionally, LB438 would increase the annual transfer of cigarette tax revenue to the Nebraska Health Care Cash Fund from $1.25 million to approximately $60 million. The programs funded would include local public health departments, community health centers and a tobacco prevention and control program. The bill also would create a fund intended to help reimburse behavioral health service provider rates.

Mar 20

Bill would more than triple Nebraska’s cigarette tax


Supporters of a bill that would more than triple Nebraska’s tax on cigarettes argued Friday it would discourage teenagers from smoking, but retailers contend a higher tax would cause customers to buy tobacco in other states.
A measure sponsored by Sen. Sara Howard of Omaha would increase the state’s cigarette tax from 64 cents on a 20-cigarette pack to $2.14. Revenue from the extra $1.50 in tax would be split between the state’s general fund and funds used for behavioral health services.
More at: Lincoln Journal Star

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