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After decades of public-health efforts, the rate of cigarette smoking among Americans is declining. But behind that progress lurks a disturbing trend: A growing number of people, especially young people, are turning to alternative tobacco products — everything from e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to cigars and the smaller cigarillos.

New research suggests these products could be fueling two distinct public-health concerns: one for minority and low-income communities, and the other for higher-income, predominantly white communities.