e-News September 26, 2019
10.1% Drop in Cigarette Sales Follows First Year of Tax Increase
Cigarette sales in Kentucky dropped by 36 million packs during fiscal year 2019, the first 12 months that the 50-cent-per-pack state excise tax increase was in effect. Cigarette sales have been declining for years in Kentucky and across the nation, but this 10.1 percent decline was much greater than in recent years and than the nation as a whole. For example, from 2016 to 2017, Kentucky cigarette sales declined 3.5 percent. During fiscal 2019, nationwide sales declined 6.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the Kentucky tax increase raised $140 million its first year.
The Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow had sought a $1/pack increase in the state excise tax during the 2018 General Assembly. Ultimately, the legislature approved only the 50-cent increase. But Kentucky tobacco sales still dropped markedly more than nationwide sales.
Tobacco Tax Increases Work
The research shows that tobacco-tax increases clearly work to reduce tobacco sales. And they are particularly effective to more price-sensitive consumers including many youth, pregnant women and persons living on low incomes.
Electronic Cigarette Excise Tax
Given the current youth e-cigarette use epidemic, the Coalition is advocating for an excise tax on e-cigarettes in an amount parallel to the current cigarette tax. Currently, e-cigarettes are the only tobacco product sold in Kentucky not subject to a state excise tax.
Smoke-Free Schools Bills Dramatically Increases Protection for Kentucky Students
Nearly 90 percent of Kentucky school districts have adopted tobacco-free schools policies since the tobacco-free schools bill was signed into law April 9. Most of the other districts are planning to adopt the model policy before July 1, 2020. Kudos to the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow members, partners and others who worked hard to get the tobacco-free schools bill passed.
FDA to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes
The Trump Administration announced that it will "clear the market" of flavored e-cigarette products on September 11. To do so, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will finalize a policy to begin enforcing a requirement that companies must file an application and get approval before marketing all non-tobacco flavored e-cigs, including mint and menthol flavors. See the FDA news release here.
Kentucky Kids' E-Cig Use Higher in 2018 than 2019 Nationwide
E-cigarette use among youth across the nation more than doubled from 2017 to 2019, according to "Monitoring the Future" survey data released in mid-September.
This follows last year's news that, nationwide, high schooler use of e-cigarettes had jumped 78 percent over the prior year, and middle schooler use had jumped 48 percent. Kentucky data for 2019 will be released late next spring, but in 2018, higher percentages of Kentucky youth were using e-cigarettes than in 2019 nationwide. In 2018, 26.7 percent of 12th graders, 23.2 percent of 10th graders and 14.2 percent of 8th graders were using e-cigarettes.
Partner and Member News
New Programs to Help Schools Fight Youth E-Cig Use
The American Lung Association has announced several resources to help support schools and teenagers fight the onslaught of e-cigarette use among youth.
INDEPTH - Intervention for Nicotine Dependence: Education, Prevention, Tobacco and Health
This program offers interactive, educational alternatives to suspensions or citations for youth caught using tobacco. The free program includes four, 50-minute sessions that can be taught by any trained adult.
Not On Tobacco - Youth Cessation Program
Schools seeking to implement a teen tobacco-cessation program can use Not On Tobacco, which includes 10, 50-minute sessions for small groups.
The Lung Association also has created a conversation guide for parents called The Vape Talk.
Partners and Member Events
Advocacy for Community Impact: Train the Trainer Workshops
Kentucky Voices for Health Annual Meeting
Friday, October 11, 2019
Members/Partners in the News
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Does your organization want to help make Kentucky healthier by reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke? Click here to join our Coalition. Or email Alexa Kerley, email@example.com. It's FREE to join!