DefinitionA current tobacco user is defined as a youth in grades 9-12 in a NM public high school who used any tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, spit/chew, hookah, or e-cigarettes) on one or more days in the past month.
NumeratorYouth who reported in the Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS) having used any tobacco product (cigarettes, cigars, spit/chew, hookah, or e-cigarettes) on one or more days in the past month.
DenominatorAll youth who participated in the YRRS.
Why Is This Important?Examining overall tobacco prevalence is an important way to look at the overall burden and risks associated with the use of any of a variety of tobacco products. In the past decade, the use of cigarettes and cigars by youth has declined dramatically, however, it has been offset by the emergence of newer products such as hookah and e-cigarettes (see supplemental graphic). The nicotine in tobacco products can harm adolescent and young adult brain development, as well as lead to long-term addiction. This indicator measures the use of any of the following tobacco products in the prior month: cigarettes, cigars, spit/chew, hookah, or e-cigarettes. In 2017, one in three NM high school youth used some form of tobacco and nearly half of these tobacco users used more than one type of product.
Evidence-based PracticesAddressing tobacco use is best done through a coordinated effort to establish tobacco-free policies and social norms, to promote and assist tobacco users to quit, and to prevent initiation of tobacco use. This comprehensive approach combines educational, clinical, regulatory, economic, and social strategies. Research has documented strong or sufficient evidence in the use of the following strategies:
- Increasing the unit price of tobacco products
- Restricting minors' access to tobacco products; restricting the time, place, and manner in which tobacco is marketed and sold
- Strategic, culturally appropriate, and high impact health communication messages (mass media), including paid TV, radio, billboard, print, and web-based advertising at state and local levels
- Ensuring that all patients seen in the health care system are screened for tobacco use, receive brief interventions to help them quit, and are offered more intensive counseling and low- or no-cost cessation medications; providing insurance coverage of tobacco use treatment; phone- and web-based cessation services are effective and can reach large numbers of tobacco users;
- Passage of laws and policies in a comprehensive tobacco control effort to protect the public from secondhand exposure
- Focusing tobacco prevention and cessation interventions on populations at greatest risk in an effort to reduce tobacco-related health disparities
Sources: CDC. Best Practices for Comprehensive Tobacco Control Programs - 2014 (www.cdc.gov/tobacco/stateandcommunity/best_practices/pdfs/2014/comprehensive.pdf)
The Guide to Community Preventive Services: Tobacco Use - 2010 (www.thecommunityguide.org/tobacco/index.html)