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).

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).

Impact of Tobacco in Wyoming

The Wyoming Tobacco Prevention and Control Program (TPCP) shares four goals with the national tobacco prevention and control program led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Impact of Tobacco in Wyoming: 2017 Annual Summary provides data on the prevalence of tobacco use and data associated with these four goals:

Reduce youth initiation (CDC, 2014b),
Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke (Starr et al., 2005),
Promote tobacco cessation (CDC, 2015),
Minimize disparities in the burden of tobacco use (Starr et al., 2005).

Synar 2017 (FFY 2018) Report

In 1992, the United States Congress enacted the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration Reorganization Act, which includes an amendment (section 1926) aimed at decreasing youth access to tobacco. This amendment, signed by President George H. W. Bush and named for its sponsor, former Representative Mike Synar (Democrat, Oklahoma), requires states to adopt and enforce state laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco to youth under the age of 18.

Synar 2016 (FFY 2017) Report

“Activities to increase restrictions on tobacco product sales and availability” are key to reducing “availability of tobacco products” and “susceptibility to experimentation with tobacco products.” Over time, these activities reduce initiation of tobacco use, the prevalence of tobacco use among young people, and the morbidity and mortality that result from tobacco use (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014, p. 21). The Synar amendment and related monitoring of compliance with state laws against selling tobacco products to minors are key parts of tobacco prevention efforts nationally and in Wyoming.

Wyoming Young Adult Tobacco Survey

The Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WYSAC), under contract to the Wyoming Department of Health, Public Health Division, conducted a survey of young adults aged 18 to 25. The survey measured attitudes and behaviors of young adults in Wyoming related to tobacco use. Key findings from the survey include the following: