The Center for Tobacco Prevention and Control works with community partners, state agencies, healthcare entities, resource centers, and local health departments to implement proven strategies to protect Maryland residents from tobacco-related death and disease.
The overall goals for the Center are to:
- Prevent youth and young adults from ever using tobacco products
- Provide resources to assist residents who are ready to quit using tobacco
- Eliminate exposure to harmful toxins found in secondhand smoke
- Identify and eliminate health disparities among population groups disproportionately affected by tobacco-related death and disease.
Maryland has made great strides in reducing tobacco use and its harmful effects.
- Rates of tobacco use among Maryland adults and youth have decreased since 2000.
- Exposure to secondhand smoke has declined due to state and local laws prohibiting smoking inside public places (restaurants, bars, workplaces, transit)
- The number of Maryland residents who have never smoked has increased.
Because of the many successes in Maryland, many think that the tobacco epidemic is over; however, tobacco use remains the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.
- 7,500 adults in Maryland die each year due to tobacco-related causes, and hundreds of thousands more suffer from tobacco-related diseases such as COPD, emphysema or cancers.
- Non-smokers – especially young children (and even pets) – are also affected by tobacco through exposure to the toxins found in secondhand smoke.
- Youth are using other tobacco products, such as flavored little cigars and cigarillos, at a higher rate than cigarettes.
- The number of youth using new/emerging products, such as e-cigarettes, e-hookah, vape pens, has increased dramatically since 2011.