Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Smoking leads to disease and disability and harms nearly every organ of the body. Smoking and tobacco use costs Connecticut over two billion dollars a year in health care expenditures alone; the proportion of cancer deaths in Connecticut attributable to smoking is 27%.
Over the years, a general decline in the use of cigarettes has occurred as people understand the harms of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. The implementation of the Clean Indoor Air Act and also voluntary smoke free policies have reduced the places where people can smoke and that has helped some people to quit. In addition, increased prices due to increases in cigarette taxes and a greater awareness of harms - including the likelihood of children copying their parents, has slowly decreased the rate of cigarette smoking. People have also switched usage to other forms of tobacco products.
Note: New BRFSS weighting and survey methodologies began in 2011 and include data collected from cellular telephones. These rates are not comparable to rates from 2010 and earlier.
The target was developed as part of Live Healthy Connecticut, A Coordinated Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Plan.
These data are current as of December 2022. New data will be made available in the Fall of 2023.
Connecticut Department of Public Health; Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services;
Connecticut Department of Veterans’ Affairs; State Department of Education; Connecticut Department of
Correction; State Legislature; local public health agencies; health care providers including nurses and primary care
physicians, community health centers, and hospitals; health professional associations; health insurers;
pharmaceutical companies; American Cancer Society; American Heart and Lung Associations; other organizations
and coalitions focused on tobacco control; community service providers; philanthropic and research organizations
that address tobacco control and tobacco related diseases; faith-based organizations; and others.
Passage of higher tax rates and comprehensive clean indoor air laws; smoke free policies at workplaces, schools, and public places; and availability of no- or low-cost tobacco use cessation services.
A number of policy initiatives have been proven to be successful at reducing tobacco use in communities. These include the following:
1) Insurance coverage for tobacco use cessation counseling and medications and incorporating insurance premium incentives for nonsmokers;
2) Higher costs on all tobacco products including tobacco taxes, with similar taxes so all products are priced commensurately;
3) Adequate funding from the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund or tax revenue in order to provide adequate education, prevention, and cessation initiatives to reduce tobacco use;
4) Sufficient and timely tobacco use information in health education curriculums;
5) Adequate and ongoing training opportunities and communications with community organizations;
6) Educate parents about the dangers of exposure to secondhand smoke and aerosol for children;
7) Encourage all health care providers to screen all patients for tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke, advise those who use tobacco to quit, and refer patients/parents to cessation services;
8) Develop and maintain statewide education efforts through extension of funded media campaigns;
9) Implement evidence-based comprehensive tobacco use prevention and cessation programs in community and workplace settings;
10) Offer cessation resources free of charge to program participants like the tobacco use cessation telephone quitline that is availabe through 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DEJELO.YA for Spanish;
11) Work with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Revenue Services, and the Department of Consumer Protection to limit youth access to tobacco products; and,
12) Provide education on the benefits of smoke free, vape free, and tobacco free policies to increase smoke and vape free environments on campuses, recreational areas, state parks, multi-unit housing, and workplaces and provide technical assistance when requested.