Report shows smoking is down but vaping is way up in NJ
New Jersey experienced a 17% tobacco use decline over 10 years while experiencing a 35% increase in vaping, according to the insurance shopping website Quote Wizard, which analyzed data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
New Jersey’s rate difference between smoking and vaping was 52.22%, according to the CDC data. Nationwide, there was a 10% decrease in smoking and an 8% increase in vaping.
Samantha DeAlmeida, New Jersey government relations director for the American Cancer Society's Cancer Active Network, says the good and bad news here is that we want to make progress in decreasing tobacco use. But the fact vaping has increased is concerning.
"Most people don't equate vaping or E-cigarettes as tobacco products. They are, by definition, tobacco products," she said.
New Jersey, Delaware and Indiana saw the greatest switch from tobacco use to vaping, with New Jersey at No. 1.
"One thing that we haven't done such a great job on is funding our tobacco prevention and cessation programs. We have had years where it's been zeroed out," DeAlmeida said.
She says banning flavored vaping is a good first step. The bill awaits the governor's signature.
"We just need to keep up that progress and continue to offer services for cessation, not only for youth that are now going to be hopefully quitting E-cigarettes and vaping products, but also for the adults that want to quit, as well."
Joe Cutter is the senior news anchor on New Jersey 101.5