Amidst Declines In Smoking Rates, Kentucky Health Advocate Is Concerned About Youth Vaping

Nov 9, 2018

Credit wkms.org

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting cigarette smoking rates for adults nationally reached a historic low of 14 percent in 2017. 

While that’s promising news for health advocates, Bonnie Hackbarth with Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky says a major uptick in youth use of electronic cigarette products is a concern. “And studies are showing that teen e-cig use leads to smoking combustible cigarettes later on.  Our concern is we don’t want to see this trajectory that has been going downward for five decades suddenly turn around and go upward,” said Hackbarth.

Hackbarth says the Federal Food and Drug Administration is looking at further reviews of all e-cigarette products.  “One of the potential things that is being looked at is, at least pulling them off the market temporarily until they can do a full product review.  Other things they are looking at is restricting sales to organizations that are known to be very good about checking ID,” noted Hackbarth.

The CDC report shows traditional cigarette smoking rates in the Southern region, which includes Kentucky, at 15 percent.  Hackbarth says individual state rates are not available yet.  She says 2016 statistics put Kentucky’s adult smoking rate at 24.5 percent.