There is promising news out of the Ocean State. In 2021, youth use rates of tobacco and vapor products were at some of their lowest levels in Rhode Island.
Unfortunately, there has been an uptick in combustible cigarette use among young adults aged 18 to 24 years old, which has also been seen in other states that have banned the sale of flavored vapor products.
According to the Rhode Island Youth Risk Behavior Survey, in 2021, among high school students, only 11.9% reported ever-use of combustible cigarettes, and a minute 3% were currently using combustible cigarettes, defined as having used a tobacco or vapor product on at least one occasion in the 30 days prior to the survey. Since 2019, ever cigarette use has declined by 32% and current use by 28.6%, among Ocean State high school students. Data on middle school tobacco and vapor product use in 2021 is not yet available.
In addition to declining combustible cigarette use, youth use of vapor products has significantly decreased. Between 2019 and 2021, ever-use of e-cigarettes decreased by 34.6% and current use declined by 40.9% from 30.1% of Rhode Island high school students reporting past-month e-cigarette use in 2019 to only 17.8% in 2021.
Lindsey Stroud – Independent Women’s Forum – 2022-10-18.