By Brielle Carnright
Tobacco Project Coordinator
The latest data from the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control shows that youth tobacco use hit a record low last year, with e-cigarette use seeing a dramatic reduction.
According to the report, the youth cigarette smoking rate dipped to 2.1 percent last year — a record low. The use of e-cigarettes also dropped, from a peak of 27.4 percent in 2018 to 18.7 percent in 2022. Despite these declines, one in five youth in New York still use tobacco, with vaping products leading the way.
This report is proof that tobacco control policies work. Bans on flavored products and the elimination of tobacco sales in pharmacies are working, preventing youth from developing a deadly addiction. But the data shows that we still have work to do: with 20 percent of youth still using tobacco in some form or another, we must continue to push for policies that protect our children.
Smoking continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in our country. Tobacco use is dangerous at any age, but particularly so for young people. Nicotine in any form can lead to addiction and is proven to harm the development of a teenager’s brain. With the school year in full swing, The Heart Network and its partners urge parents and educators to remain vigilant.
New York State offers a variety of free resources to help people quit tobacco. If you or a loved one needs support, visit nyssmokefree.com or call the NYS Smokers’ Quitline: 1-866-NY-QUITS.