Rural Versus Urban Use of Traditional and Emerging Tobacco Products in the United States, 2013-2014

Am J Public Health. 2017 Oct;107(10):1554-1559. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303967. Epub 2017 Aug 17.


Objectives: To examine urban-rural differences in US prevalences of traditional and emerging tobacco product use as well as dual or polytobacco use of these products.

Methods: Our data were derived from wave 1 (2013-2014) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. We estimated weighted prevalences of adult tobacco use across urban-rural geographies and examined prevalences classified by gender, poverty level, and region of the country.

Results: Nationally, cigarette use and smokeless tobacco use, as well as dual or polytobacco use of traditional products, were more prevalent in rural than in urban areas. Conversely, cigarillo and hookah use and dual or polytobacco use of emerging products were higher in urban areas. There was no significant urban-rural difference in use of e-cigarettes. Gender, poverty, and region of the country did not seem to be driving most urban-rural differences, although differences related to cigarillo use and dual or polytobacco use of emerging products became nonsignificant after control for covariates.

Conclusions: Our findings highlight important urban-rural differences in tobacco use. Whether the changing tobacco product landscape will contribute to a continuation of rural health disparities remains to be seen.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Tobacco Products / classification
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*
  • Tobacco, Smokeless / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult