New Fact Sheet Series: Trends in Youth Tobacco Use
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT recently published a series of three Fact Sheets: Trends in Youth Tobacco Use. Each publication incorporates the best available research and data, and includes information on what communities, schools, and other leaders can do to prevent and reduce youth tobacco use.
E-Cigarettes and Vaping
E-cigarettes are devices that allow users to inhale an aerosol which typically contains nicotine, flavorings, and other additives or chemicals. E-cigarettes contain fewer toxic chemicals than regular cigarettes, however, e-cigarettes are not harmless and have been found to contain heavy metals such as nickel, tin, and lead, diacetyl, which has been linked to lung disease, and other cancer-causing chemicals. E-cigarettes contain nicotine which can lead to addiction and can cause harm to developing adolescent brains.
Nationally and in Rhode Island, tobacco use rates vary by race, ethnicity, and gender and higher rates of tobacco use are found among youth who experience certain influencing factors. These factors include historic and emerging advertising trends, community acceptance, and social factors and stressors that influence initiation and continuation.
State and School Tobacco Policies
Rhode Island has a strong history of supporting policies that prevent youth tobacco use. Due to both persistent and emerging trends in youth tobacco use, including e-cigarette use, Rhode Island should continue to enact evidence-based policies, update existing laws, and increase funding for prevention, cessation, and tobacco control programs in order to reduce the number of youths initiating, using, and becoming addicted to tobacco products. Both the state and school districts have unique roles to play to reduce tobacco use and support healthy, smoke-free communities.