Adult Smoking Trending Down, Though Some e-Cig Users Also Smoke

Dec 4, 2018


The state's smoking rate has fallen a bit after staying the same for several years.

New data released by the state Department of Health Services show Wisconsin's rate falling one point to 16 percent after being at 17 percent.

Spencer Straub works with the state's tobacco prevention and control program in the Department of Health Services. Staub says they've been holding at 17 percent for awhile so another downward reduction in smoking numbers is good. He says a number of factors are likely involved...

"...Things like the Tips From Former Smokers campaign, people are taking advantage of cessation resources, we're also, hopefully, seeing a generational shift. Another contributing factor is the state's Smoke Free Air Law as far as a social norming standpoint..."

Straub says one negative trend is the use of E-cigarettes coupled with the use of regular cigarettes and smokeless tobacco...

"The concern comes when you look at the number of e-cigarette users or smokeless tobacco users that are also smoking cigarettes. In a lot of cases they may think that by substituting in an e-cigarette that's helping, but really, any tobacco product is harmful..."

According to one study, 46 percent of state adults using e-cigarettes also smoke regular cigarettes and 39 percent of smokeless users also smoke., Straub says certain groups have higher smoking rates including Native Americans, African-Americans and people who are on Medicaid among others.