DHMH Tobacco Report: Youth Use Down, but Challenges Remain

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has released a report detailing Maryland’s progress on reducing tobacco use.

The report, Monitoring Changing Tobacco Use Behaviors: 2000-2014, highlights successes and challenges of state and local initiatives.

As reported by DHMH:

“Smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease here in Maryland,” said Health and Mental Hygiene Secretary Van T. Mitchell. “Protecting the health of  our residents from the devastating harms caused by tobacco use is a top priority of ours.”

Maryland’s tobacco use prevention and cessation efforts have seen some successes. Between 2000 and 2014, there was a relative decrease of more than 60 percent in minors who smoked cigarettes. Of the 15 percent of adults in Maryland who still smoke cigarettes, nearly three-quarters report wanting to quit permanently. However, disparities in tobacco-use behaviors still exist; adolescent tobacco use is highly correlated with other risk behaviors, such as consumption of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs; and prevalence rates of underage youth are nearly two and a half times greater for electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes) than for cigarettes.

All local health departments provide cessation support and thousands of Marylanders have quit using tobacco with free counseling and nicotine replacement therapy (patch and gum) from the Maryland Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Quit Coaches are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and more information can be found at www.smokingstopshere.com.

For more information and to read the report visit the DHMH Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control website.

Learn more about broad range of issues public health officials face and their successes and challenges of addressing them at the 2016 MACo Winter Conference session “The Power and Perils of Public Health“. The session will be held Thursday, December 8, 2016 from  9:00 am – 10:15 am at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Resort in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: