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Tobacco use is the #1 preventable cause of death. In Vermont, smoking costs approximately $348 million in medical expenses and results in about 1,000 smoking-related deaths each year. Countless other lives, including those of friends and family members, are impacted by the negative effects of tobacco use and secondhand smoke.
Tobacco use is one of 3 behaviors that lead to 4 diseases (cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease), resulting in more than 50% of deaths among Vermonters. Physical inactivity and poor nutrition are the other two behaviors. Learn more about 3-4-50
To see how we're doing in Vermont—check out our Tobacco Performance Scorecard
Raising the age at which Vermonters can purchase and possess tobacco products from 18 to 21 will help Vermont make strides against tobacco use, especially for youth. This change aims to:
- REDUCE SMOKING RATES: The National Academies of Medicine found that raising the age to 21 would reduce the smoking rate over time by 12% and reduce smoking-related deaths by 10%.
- REDUCE THE LIKELIHOOD OF ADDICTION: 95% of adults started smoking by the age of 21. Restricting access to these products also addresses the e-cigarette epidemic that is plaguing the country’s youth.
- PROTECT DEVELOPING BRAINS: Teens and young adults are uniquely vulnerable to the effects of nicotine and nicotine addiction (including from e-cigarettes).
- REDUCE SOCIAL SOURCES OF TOBACCO PRODUCTS: About half of Vermont e-cigarette users under age 18 borrowed or got them from someone who was over age 18.
- PROTECT TEENS FROM HARMFUL SUBSTANCES: The e-cigarette aerosol that users breathe from the device and exhale can contain harmful and potentially harmful substances, including nicotine and other toxic chemicals.
Since 2000, we have been working to create change at the environmental, policy and systems levels. These efforts have prevented youth and adults from becoming tobacco users, supported those looking to quit, and changed the overall acceptance of tobacco use.
Our work is guided by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention Best Practice Guidelines and the Vermont Tobacco Evaluation & Review Board, a group created to review the state's tobacco control work and recommend appropriate funding levels.
The goals of the Vermont Tobacco Control Program are to:
- Prevent youth and young adults from starting to use tobacco
- Decrease tobacco use in adults and youth
- Reduce exposure to secondhand smoke
- Discourage the use of other tobacco products
We work closely with state, regional and community partners to create and support smoke-free policies. Our partners include schools, nonprofit organizations, legislators and town officials, government agencies and health care providers. Read more about smoke free policies.
We oversee Vermont’s 802Quits, a 24/7 quit smoking resource for all residents. To access this service call 1-800-Quit-Now (1-800-784-8669).
802Quits offers tips and tools, including free nicotine replacement therapy (patches and gum or lozenges), to help Vermonters quit cigarettes and other tobacco products including vaping devices. Learn more about tips and tools for quitting!
Although the costly addiction of tobacco use in Vermont affects nearly one in five, a closer look reveals large differences in smoking rates among certain groups. For instance, smoking rates are higher among people of lower income or who have mental health and substance use disorders. By looking at the data on tobacco use, we identify and prioritize efforts as described in the Tobacco State Plan. Read more about our work to support these communities.