New State Data Show Reduction in Cigarette Use in Maryland- However, Flavored Cigars and Smokeless Products Enticing Underage Smokers


Baltimore, MD (December 8, 2014) – The Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH) released a report today showing that tobacco use among Maryland public high school youth decreased by almost 40 percent from 2000 to 2013. This decline is largely attributable to a reduction in cigarette smoking. Underage use of smokeless tobacco increased between 2000 and 2013, while underage use of cigars did not change to a statistically significant degree.
 
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Youth and Flavored Tobacco

 
Fruit- and candy-flavored (i.e., grape, strawberry, apple, peach, vanilla, chocolate, etc.) cigars and smokeless tobacco continue to be legally sold in Maryland and are increasingly popular among minors. 
 
The choice of flavored smokeless tobacco or cigars by underage high school youth who use these products has not only remained high, but increased from 72.1 percent in 2010 to 77.1 percent in 2013.
 
A higher proportion of minors than adults smoke cigars and use smokeless tobacco in Maryland – the proportion of underage smokeless tobacco users is more than three times greater than the proportion of adult users (6.9 percent youth; 2.2 percent adults) and the proportion of underage cigar smokers is more than two-and-a-half times greater than the proportion of adult cigar smokers (11.5 percent youth; 4.4 percent adults).

Cigar Use Trends

 
While the overall rate of youth cigar use showed no statistically significant difference from 2000 to 2013, usage increased sharply – peaking in 2008 – followed by a marked decrease between 2008 and 2013.  The decrease coincided with an educational campaign (www.TheCigarTrap.com) launched by DHMH in response to the rise in prevalence, as well as an increase in taxes applied to cigars. Though progress has been made, in 2013 cigars were still the most used tobacco product by underage youth (11.5 percent), surpassing cigarette use (11.0 percent) by minors.

 
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Smoking and Other Risky Behaviors


Minors who smoke are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, especially substance use. The increased likelihood represents the relative risk of an underage smoker engaging in the behavior as compared with the risk of an underage non-smoker.
    
Smoking Status Past 30 Days/Abuse of Alcohol Past 30 Days/Abuse of Marijuana Past 30 Days/Abuse of Rx Drugs Ever Used
Other Illegal 
Drugs
Smokers 79.4% 67% 37.9% 51.1%
Non-Smokers 23.7% 12.6% 4.2% 8.9%
Increased Liklihood of Smokers Engaging in Behavior (Rounded) 3 times 5 times 9 times 6 times
 

Tobacco Use among Maryland Adults

 
Adult cigarette use also has declined more than 20 percent since 2000 (20.5 percent in 2000, 16.2 percent in 2012). Just 0.5 percent of Maryland adults reported that they had started to use tobacco during the past 12 months, and 74 percent of adults who smoke cigarettes report they want to quit. Encouraging data show that the percentage of adults who never have smoked cigarettes is increasing – from 56 percent in 2000 to 61 percent in 2013. And hospital admissions to treat tobacco-related cancers decreased 11 percent between 2000 and 2011, saving more than $102 million in hospital charges in 2011 alone.
 
Maryland’s success in reducing tobacco use can be attributed to tobacco prevention programs, public policy initiatives, clean-indoor-air regulations and such programs as the Maryland Tobacco Quitline, 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Having served more than 14,000 Marylanders, the Quitline offers evidence-based counseling to all people 13 and older and, while supplies last, offers free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) to eligible callers. A recent evaluation documented 75 percent of Quitline callers being successful in quitting or reducing tobacco use and 96 percent stating that they would recommend the program to a friend. Further information on the Quitline can be found at www.SmokingStopsHere.com.
 
The full state report, “Monitoring Changing Tobacco Use Behaviors: Fiscal Year 2013,” can be found here: 

 
 

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WCHD News

 

SNOW HILL, Md. – The Worcester County Health Department urges all residents age 6 months and older, including pregnant women and those with medical conditions, to be vaccinated for the 2018-2019 seasonal flu. People age 65 years and older have a choice of two flu vaccines available to them at the Worcester County Health Department. They can choose to receive a regular flu vaccine or a high dose flu vaccine which may result in a stronger immune response against the flu.

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Due to ongoing construction issues, the WACS Center will be closed through October 19 and move services to other locations. The center is scheduled to reopen on Monday, October 22nd.

All services at this site have been relocated to either Snow Hill or the Berlin Health Center. We apologize for any inconvenience. For more information or to check on the status of your appointment, please call 410-632-1100.

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

This bacterium is found in the nose, throat and mouth of an infected person, and can be easily spread. Pertussis can occur at any age, but often causes serious problems in babies, and is usually milder in older children and adults. Children who are too young to be fully vaccinated and those that have not received all their vaccinations are at highest risk for severe illness and complications. Complications of pertussis can include pneumonia (infection of the lungs), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), seizures, and other physical and medical outcomes associated with a severe cough.

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Our new Just Walk Worcester website has information on local parks, walking tips, and videos of trails in our area. If you like to walk, check it out! Click the image below to see the new site. 

 

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Snow Hill, MD- Worcester County Health Department will launch “Just Walk Worcester” on October 12. This new website will be an inclusive resource for finding places to walk and explore no matter where you are in the county. The site features maps of all local parks and trails as well as walking tips, helpful videos, and details about each area including the length of trails, if there are any fees and if the spot is pet-friendly. Residents can view drone footage of each trail, allowing walkers to know the ins and outs of the path before they even lace up their shoes.

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