NYSDOH: NYS youth smoking rate has reached all-time low

Cigarette, Smoke, Ashtray
Posted at 3:49 PM, Sep 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-13 15:57:14-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State Department of Health announced Monday the state's youth smoking rate has reached an all-time low.

According to the Youth Tobacco Survey (YTS) recently released by NYSDOH, less than 3% of high school students smoke cigarettes, which is down from 27.1% in 2000.

The YTS also found youth tobacco use was down across all product categories, including e-cigarette use for the first time.

"These milestones demonstrate the overwhelming success of New York’s tobacco control program in reducing cigarette smoking among young people in New York State, and we will continue to take evidence-based action to safeguard New York youth from the nicotine addiction that tobacco products can cause. Smoking any substance can cause serious health problems," Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. “In 2019, we increased the minimum age to buy tobacco and vaping products from age 18 to 21, and in 2020, we ended the sale of flavored e-liquids, stopped the online sale of e-cigarettes to individuals, stopped the sale of tobacco in pharmacies and eliminated the use of coupons and other price promotions that made vaping and tobacco products cheaper and more easily accessible to youth.”

According to NYSDOH e-cigarette use among high school age students increased 160% between 2014 and 2018. Although it is still the most commonly used tobacco product among youth in NYS, between 2018 and 2020 the e-cigarette use rate among high schoolers dropped by 18%.

Those who are between the ages of 13 to 24 who want to stop vaping can enroll in a free and anonymous text messaging program by texting “DropTheVape” to 88709.

For free and confidential smoking and vaping quit services for New Yorkers of all ages you can contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 1-866-NYQUITS (1-866-697-8487) or click here.