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Tobacco use in Rhode Island 2017

CIGARETTE USE

  • In 2015, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults in Rhode Island was 15.5%. Nationally, the prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults was 17.5%.
  • In 2015, 4.8% of high school students (5.0% of male high school students and 4.5% of female high school students) in Rhode Island smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 10.8% of high school students smoked cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days.

Graph showing smoking rates in Rhode Island compared to the national average

OTHER TOBACCO PRODUCT USE

  • The prevalence of smokeless tobacco use among adults in Rhode Island was 2.0% in 2014.
  • In 2015, 5.3% of high school students in Rhode Island used chewing tobacco, snuff or dip on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 7.3% of high school students used smokeless tobacco on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2015, 8.4% of high school students in Rhode Island smoked cigars, cigarillos, or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 10.3% of high school students smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars on at least one day in the past 30 days.
  • In 2015, 19.3% of high school students in Rhode Island used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, 24.1% high school students used electronic vapor products on at least one day in the past 30 days.

Graph showing other tobacco product use among High School students in Rhode Island

ECONOMICS OF TOBACCO USE AND TOBACCO CONTROL

  • In FY2017, Rhode Island allocated $375,622 in state funds to tobacco prevention, which is 2.9% of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Annual Spending Target.
  • Rhode Island received an estimated $194.4 million in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in FY2017.
  • The health care costs in Rhode Island, directly caused by smoking, amount to $640 million annually.
  • Rhode Island loses $458.9 million in productivity each year due to smoking.

STATE TOBACCO LAWS

EXCISE TAXRhode Island cigarette tax

  • The state tax increased to $4.25 per pack of cigarettes in August 2017. Rhode Island is ranked 2nd in the United States for its cigarette tax. The national average cigarette tax is $1.71 per pack of cigarettes. The highest state cigarette tax is New York ($4.35) and the lowest state cigarette tax is Missouri ($0.17).
  • Snuff is taxed $1.00 per ounce. Cigars, pipe tobacco products, and smokeless tobacco other than snuff are taxed 80% of the wholesale cost; however the tax on cigars cannot exceed $0.50 per cigar.

CLEAN INDOOR AIR ORDINANCES

  • Smoking is prohibited in all childcare facilities, government workplaces, healthcare facilities, restaurants, schools, private workplaces, retail stores, recreational/cultural facilities, and bars (smoking bars are exempt).
  • Smoking is restricted in casinos.

YOUTH ACCESS LAWS

  • The minimum age requirement for the purchase of tobacco products is 18, and penalties exist for both minors and merchants who violate this law.
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that the sale of tobacco products to minors is prohibited.
  • The sale to minors of bidis is prohibited
  • The sale to minors of electronic cigarettes is prohibited.

LOCAL TOBACCO LAWS

  • The city of Providence: 
    • Bans the sale of flavored tobacco products except menthol, mint, and wintergreen; smoking and hookah bars are exempt. 
    • Prohibits licensed tobacco vendors from selling discounted tobacco products through coupon redemption and multipack offers.

CESSATION STATISTICS AND BENEFITS

  • The CDC estimates that 48.6% of adult every day smokers in Rhode Island tried to quit smoking for one or more days in 2015.
  • The Affordable Care Act requires all Medicaid programs cover all tobacco cessation medications beginning January 1, 2014. However, there is not yet evidence that the Rhode Island Medicaid program has complied with this requirement regarding NRT nasal spray, NRT lozenge, and NRT inhaler. 
  • Rhode Island’s state quitline invests $1.04 per smoker; the national average investment per smoker is $3.46.
  • Rhode Island has a private insurance mandate provision for cessation.

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*last updated: May 1, 2017