Rural-urban differences in changes and effects of tobacco 21 in youth e-cigarette use

Hongying Dai, Lisa Chaney, Edward Ellerbeck, Ressa Friggeri, Nancy White, Delwyn Catley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2020020651
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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