Rural-Urban Differences in Changes and Effects of Tobacco 21 in Youth E-cigarette Use.
Background: The prevalence of current electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use has increased dramatically among US youth. It is unknown how the impact of policies to curb e-cigarette use might differ across rural and urban areas.
Methods: Data were collected from an annual statewide survey of middle and high school students in Kansas. Multivariable logistic regression was performed to examine the temporal change in current e-cigarette use in 2018 and 2019 across rural and urban areas and across the areas with and without a Tobacco 21 (T21) policy that raises the minimum age of tobacco sales to 21 years.
Results: Of 132 803 participants, the prevalence of current e-cigarette use increased from 8.2% in 2018 to 12.6% in 2019. The increase was larger in rural areas (from 6.7% in 2018 to 13.4% in 2019, difference = 6.7%) than in urban areas (9.8%-11.9%, difference = 2.1%), with a significant interaction effect of year × urbanicity/T21 group (P < .0001). In urban areas, e-cigarette use increased significantly for middle school students in T21 areas (3.3%-4.5%; P = .01) and all students in non-T21 areas (8.1%-12.0%; P < .0001). In rural areas, the increase in e-cigarette use was significant in both T21 and non-T21 areas for all students, but the increase was smaller in T21 (7.9%-10.8%, difference = 3.0%) than in non-T21 areas (6.5%-13.7%, difference = 7.1%).
Conclusions: In this study, we reported marked disparities in the increase of youth e-cigarette use, with a larger recent increase in rural than in urban areas. T21 policies appear to mitigate these increases in both rural and urban youth.
Dai H, Chaney L, Ellerbeck E, Friggeri R, White N, Catley D. Rural-Urban Differences in Changes and Effects of Tobacco 21 in Youth E-cigarette Use. Pediatrics. 2021;147(5):e2020020651. doi:10.1542/peds.2020-020651