Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report on the status of U.S. youth and tobacco use. The results were not good. The CDC found more than 1 in 4 high school students and nearly 1 in 14 middle school students had used tobacco products in the past 30 days. Use of tobacco products went up by 38 percent among high school students between 2017 and 2018. The results measure the use of e-cigarettes along with other products the overall use of any tobacco product.

The numbers are significant because most adult smokers began before the age of twenty. Other points of information by the CDC include:

• Use of any tobacco product grew by 38.3% among high school students (2017-2018).
• There were 1.5 million more current youth e-cigarette users in 2018 than 2017.
• 4.9 million youth were current tobacco product users in 2018.
• E-cigarettes are still the most commonly used tobacco product, ahead of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, and pipes.
• E-cigarettes are the most commonly used product in combination with other tobacco products.
• E-cigarette use is highest for boys, whites, and high school students.

The CDC has more information including fact sheet and digital information here. The report goes into detail on the impact of the e-cigarette JUUL. A single prefilled liquid JUUL pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes. Sales of the device increased by 600 percent between 2016 and 2017.
The conclusion of the CDC is
“a considerable increase in e-cigarette use among U.S. youths, coupled with no change in use of other tobacco products during 2017–2018, has erased recent progress in reducing overall tobacco product use among youths. The sustained implementation of comprehensive tobacco control strategies, in coordination with Food and Drug Administration regulation of tobacco products, can prevent and reduce the use of all forms of tobacco products among U.S. youths.”

The full report is here.

About the Author:

John Sciamanna is CWLA's Vice President of Public Policy.

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