2017 Wyoming Adult Tobacco Survey

The Wyoming Adult Tobacco Survey (ATS) is a key component in the evaluation of Wyoming’s Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP). Under contract to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), the Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WYSAC) at the University of Wyoming called adults across the state (via cell phone and landline) to ask about their use of and attitudes about tobacco products and policies.

Adult Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is a preventable cause of chronic diseases like heart disease, cancers, respiratory diseases, and high blood pressure in the United States (USDHHS, 2014). Chronic diseases are leading causes of death and sickness in the United States and Wyoming. In 2016, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory diseases were the first, second, and fourth leading causes of death in Wyoming, respectively (CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, 2017).

Youth Tobacco Use

In the United States, children and teens constitute the majority of all new smokers (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], 2014). The earlier young people begin using tobacco products, the more likely they are to use them as adults and the longer they will remain users (Institute of Medicine, 2015). Two of the four key goals the Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares with the federal tobacco prevention and control program are to (a) reduce youth initiation of tobacco use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014) and (b) promote quitting tobacco use, including among youth (CDC, 2015).

Limiting Youth Access to Tobacco Products

The earlier young people begin using tobacco products, the more likely they are to use them as adults and the longer they remain users (Institute of Medicine, 2015). One of the four goals the Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares with the federal tobacco prevention and control program is to reduce youth initiation of tobacco use. Limiting youth access to tobacco products may help reduce youth initiation of tobacco use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014).

Tobacco Cessation

One of the four key goals the Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares with the federal tobacco prevention and control program is to increase tobacco quit attempts and successes (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2015). Reductions in tobacco consumption resulting from utilization of tobacco cessation services will result in a decline in tobacco-related sickness and death.

Tobacco Taxes, Revenue, & Consumption

Two of the four key goals the Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares with the federal tobacco prevention and control program are: (a) increasing the number of people quitting tobacco use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2015) and (b) preventing young people from starting to use tobacco (CDC, 2014b). Taxing cigarettes is a well-documented and effective policy for governments to make further progress on both of these goals (CDC, 2014a; Hyland et al., 2005).Taxation encourages tobacco users to quit or use less tobacco by increasing the price of cigarettes. Economic studies have demonstrated that increasing the unit price for tobacco products by 20% would reduce overall consumption of tobacco products by 10%, the percentage of adults who use tobacco by 4%, and the percentage of young people who start to use tobacco by 9% (see Guide to Community Preventive Service, 2015, for a summary of this research).In 2014, WYSAC estimated that a $1.00 price increase in Wyoming would decrease the amount of cigarettes Wyoming adults smoke by 6% while generating $30.1 million (adjusted for inflation to 2018 dollars) of additional revenue during the first year (WYSAC, 2014).

Health and Economic Costs of Smoking

The health and economic costs of smoking in Wyoming are substantial. The Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares four goals with the federal tobacco prevention and control program to reduce these costs: (a) reduce youth initiation of tobacco use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014b), (b) eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke (CDC, 2017), (c) increase tobacco cessation attempts and successes (CDC, 2015b), and (d) eliminate tobacco-related disparities (CDC 2014b; 2015b; 2017).

Existence of and Public Support for Smokefree Policies and Laws

Each year between 2005 and 2009, about 41,000 nonsmoking people in the United States died prematurely from heart disease or lung cancer caused by exposure to secondhand smoke (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2014). One of the four key goals the Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares with the federal tobacco prevention and control program is to decrease exposure to secondhand smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017a). The majority of Wyoming adults agree with the statement, “Secondhand smoke is very harmful to one’s health.” Further, 79% of Wyoming adults would support a law making the indoor areas of restaurants smokefree, and 80% would support a law for smokefree indoor work areas (WYSAC, 2018). Enactment, implementation, and enforcement of smokefree policies and laws protect the public from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Yet, 71% of Wyoming residents are not covered by a comprehensive smokefree indoor air law, making them vulnerable to secondhand smoke in public places.

Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

The use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS; also known as electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vape-pens, JUUL, and other names) has increased in recent years (Abassi, 2016). Current youth use of ENDS nearly tripled between 2013 (4.5%) and 2014 (13.4%; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2015b). In Wyoming, 30% of high school students were current ENDS users in 2015 (Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System [YRBSS], 2015), and, in 2017, 24% of adults had tried ENDS (WYSAC, 2018).

Social, Health, and Economic Effects of Smokefree Laws

One of the four key goals the Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares with the federal tobacco prevention and control program is to decrease exposure to secondhand smoke (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] 2017). According to the Surgeon General (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2014) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014), smokefree policies improve public health by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. By enacting and implementing smokefree indoor air policies and laws, Wyoming communities reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and, ultimately, can reduce tobacco-related economic costs, disease, and death (CDC, 2017).