Tobacco and cannabis are drugs that are legal for adults to use in Washington State. Unfortunately, legal doesn’t mean healthy. Tobacco contributes to several of the leading causes of death in Washington. These include cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Cannabis use can impact brain development and mental health in youth. Starting to use cannabis younger can increase someone's chances of becoming addicted.
Why Is Data on Tobacco and Cannabis Use Important?
Programs at the Department of Health work to reduce the health impacts of tobacco and cannabis. Data about tobacco and cannabis use help us understand who is most harmed by tobacco and cannabis. This can show us what progress is being made and who needs more support.
Tobacco Use in Washington State
Cigarette use has declined in recent years. But approximately 10.2 percent of adults still smoke cigarettes. Also, since 2017, e-cigarette (or vapor product) use has been increasing. About 7.6 percent of adults reported using e-cigarettes in 2022. Only 4.5 percent used them in 2017.
DOH's Commercial Tobacco Prevention Program has the following goals:
- Help adults quit tobacco/nicotine use.
- Prevent youth and young adults from ever starting to use tobacco.
- Protect people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and vape emissions.
- Take strategic steps to eliminate tobacco-related disparities.
Cannabis Use in Washington State
In 2021, approximately 58 percent of adults surveyed in Washington said they had used cannabis at least once in their lifetime. Thirty percent reported using it within the last 30 days.
DOH's Cannabis Prevention and Education Program:
- Works to reduce and prevent use among the youth population.
- Educates adults about the potential risks and consequences associated with using non-medical cannabis.
- Provides resources for adults to talk to teens about cannabis prevention.
- Manages community contracts and statewide and local media-based campaigns.
- Runs the Washington State Recovery Helpline.
The Tobacco and Cannabis Use dashboards show the percentage of adults who use cannabis and tobacco in Washington state. You can view this data by county and Accountable Communities of Health (ACH). The data can also be viewed by a variety of demographic and health issues.
The data come from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. BRFSS is an annual survey conducted by the Department of Health, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The purpose of the survey is to measure changes in the health behaviors of people in our state.
View the Data
For information or questions related to the Washington Tracking Network, email DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.
How Have You Used Our Data?
We love hearing about how our data is being used to make an impact on the health of Washingtonians. It also helps us to know what is meeting our users’ needs and how we can improve the information we provide. If you used our data, please tell us about it by sending an email to DOH.WTN@doh.wa.gov.
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