Newly published research suggests that more than 10 percent of Oklahomans vape–the highest rate in the country.
Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine found that states with strong tobacco-control laws, like smoke-free air rules and taxes on cigarettes have fewer e-cigarette users.
The study’s lead author Omar El-Shahawy says Oklahomans are more likely to try e-cigarettes because smoking is socially acceptable and allowed in a lot of locations.
"Once you have good tobacco policies in place, it’s going to deter use of those products, so Oklahoma is really lagging behind if you compare it to other states in the U.S."
E-cigarettes contain nicotine and heavy metals but remain largely unregulated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that smoking costs Oklahomans more than $1 billion in health care costs every year.