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Tobacco use remains a leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Vermont. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Vermont's elected officials:

  1. Increase the tobacco tax by a minimum of $1.00 per pack;
  2. Increase funding for comprehensive tobacco prevention and cessation; and
  3. Eliminate the sale of all flavored tobacco products.
The 2022 legislative session of the Vermont General Assembly was relatively dormant on tobacco control policy. Though two hearings on Senate bill 24, a bill to end the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol, were held in 2021, further action in 2022 was stalled in both the House and Senate after passage by the Senate Health and Welfare Committee. The Lung Association provided testimony in support of the legislation.

The Lung Association will continue to build on the initial groundwork and continue to advance measures to address the use of flavored tobacco products. Enticed by kid-friendly flavors that also mask the harshness that comes with inhalation, Vermonts youth are being set up for a lifetime of nicotine addiction. The state must act now to end all sales of flavored tobacco products.

Additionally, while Vermont headed into the 2021 session with a substantial budget surplus and provided no additional funding for fiscal year 2022, the tobacco control program did receive one-time additional funding for fiscal year 2023. Currently while tobacco use is increasing in the state, Vermont remains several million dollars short of the funding recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the Vermont 2020 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Results:

• Among LGBT Vermonters, attempts to quit smoking cigarettes increased from 31% (2019) to 61% (2020).

• E-cigarette use is 3 times higher among young adults (18-24; 12%) than the statewide rate (4%).

• Adults who currently smoke cigarettes use e-cigarettes at 12 times the rate of adults who never smoked (12% vs. 1%), while adults who formerly smoked use e-cigarettes at six times the rate of adults who never smoked (6% vs. 1%).

The American Lung Association in Vermont will continue to work with the Coalition for a Tobacco Free Vermont and many more organizations in 2023 as we grow our numbers to educate policy makers, business leaders and the media of the importance of advancing strong tobacco control and prevention efforts and to build upon our past successes in the Green Mountain State.

Vermont Facts
Healthcare Costs Due to Smoking: $348,112,248
Adult Smoking Rate: 14.80%
High School Smoking Rate: 6.90%
High School Tobacco Use Rate: 28.20%
Middle School Smoking Rate: 2.00%
Smoking Attributable Deaths per Year: 960
Adult smoking data come from CDC's 2021 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school smoking and tobacco use data come from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. Middle school smoking data comes from the Vermont 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System; results are rounded to the nearest whole number.

Health impact information is taken from the Smoking Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC) software. Smoking attributable deaths reflect average annual estimates for the period 2005-2009 and are calculated for persons aged 35 years and older. Smoking attributable healthcare expenditures are based on 2004 smoking attributable fractions and 2009 personal healthcare expenditure data. Deaths and expenditures should not be compared by state.

Vermont Information

Learn more about your state specific legislation regarding efforts towards effective Tobacco Control.

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