The 2018 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) asked Kentucky adults about their experience with e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes, as well as whether the 2018 Kentucky tobacco tax increase influenced their cigarette smoking.
KHIP is sponsored by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.
On July 1, 2018, Kentucky House Bill 366 went into effect. As part of the law, the excise tax on cigarettes was increased by 50 cents a pack, from 60 cents to $1.10.1 KHIP asked Kentucky smokers whether the tax increase had caused them to change or consider changing their smoking behavior. Five in 10 Kentucky smokers (50%) reported that they had taken at least one action as a result of the increased tax. Four in 10 smokers reported that they had begun smoking fewer cigarettes (39%), 1 in 3 reported that they had considered quitting smoking (33%), and more than 1 in 4 reported that they had made an attempt to quit smoking (26%).
KHIP 2018 found that nearly 1 in 4 Kentucky adults (23%) were current cigarette smokers. Nationally, 17% of adults were current cigarette smokers in 2017.2 Kentucky adults earning 138% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG)3 were more likely to be current smokers (35%) than adults earning more than 138% FPG (16%). KHIP asked smokers, “Is your usual cigarette brand menthol or non-menthol?” About 3 in 10 Kentucky adults who smoke (28%) reported that their usual cigarette brand was menthol, and 7 in 10 (72%) reported their usual brand was non-menthol.4
KHIP also asked Kentucky adults about their use of e-cigarettes.5 An e-cigarette is a battery-powered device that produces an aerosol by heating a liquid. This liquid usually contains nicotine – the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products – as well as flavorings and other chemicals.6 Using an e-cigarette is often referred to as “vaping.” In 2018, about 1 in 4 Kentucky adults (24%) reported that they had ever tried an e-cigarette. This percentage has remained about the same since KHIP first asked this question in 2016. Younger adults have consistently been more likely than older adults to have ever tried an e-cigarette. (See graph below.)
KHIP asked adults who had tried an e-cigarette, “Do you now use e-cigarettes or other electronic ‘vaping’ products every day, some days or not at all?” Among adults who had tried an e-cigarette, 3 in 10 (32%) now use them every day or some days. Overall, 8% of all Kentucky adults reported using e-cigarettes some days or every day. Nationally, 3% of adults were current e-cigarette users in 2017.7
1. See http://www.lrc.ky.gov/record/18rs/HB366.htm. and http://www.lrc.ky.gov/statutes/statute.aspx?id=47335.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). BRFSS Prevalence & Trends Data. Accessed Dec. 17, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/
3. In 2017, 138% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a family of four was $33,948.
4. Menthol cigarettes are cigarettes that contain a mint flavoring.
5. KHIP asked, “Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to inhale vaporized liquid. The vaporized liquid often contains
nicotine, and some have flavorings and other ingredients. Users of e-cigarettes sometimes refer to the activity as ‘vaping,’ as opposed to smoking. Have you ever used an electronic cigarette or e-cigarette?”
6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). About electronic cigarettes (E-cigarettes). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/
Interact for Health regularly conducts research and collects data in order to monitor and evaluate our region’s health status and to measure public opinions about health policy.
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