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).

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).

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).

Tobacco and Chronic Disease

Chronic disease is a general term that refers to illnesses that progress slowly and last a long time (World Health Organization [WHO], 2014), such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and sickness in the United States and Wyoming (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics [CDC, NCDHS], 2017). “Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of premature disease and death in the United States” (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 2014, p. iii).

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:

Wyoming Quit Tobacco Program Follow-Up Survey

The Wyoming Quit Tobacco Program (WQTP) assists enrollees in their efforts to quit using tobacco products by offering free coaching support, free nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs), and free or reduced-price prescription (Rx) medications. Under contract to the Wyoming Department of Health, Public Health Division, the Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WYSAC) at the University of Wyoming conducts monthly surveys of WQTP enrollees to assess quit rates and enrollee satisfaction.