Teens' Use Of E-Cigarettes Drops For The First Time, CDC Says

Brandon Parsons
June 17, 2017

Tobacco use is the world's leading cause of preventable death and serious illness, killing an estimated 6 million people each year, researchers note in the youth tobacco report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Based on the survey responses, the CDC estimates that the number of middle and high school students using tobacco products fell to 3.9 million last year, from 4.7 million the year before. In 2016, the most commonly used products among middle school students after e-cigarettes were: cigarettes (2.2 percent), cigars (2.2%), smokeless tobacco (2.2%), hookah (2.0%), pipe tobacco (0.7%), and bidis (0.3%).

"We would expect that to continue", he said.

A survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday reveals after a rapid increase in youth vaping between 2011 and 2015, teens are now giving up the habit. The high school smoking rate in West Virginia is more than double the rate in California. Around 44.4 percent of eighth-grade students said they were active smokers, with e-cigarette being the go-to tobacco product.

Tobacco prevention and control strategies at the national, state, and local levels likely contributed to the reduction in tobacco use, particularly for e-cigarettes.

Use of all tobacco products, including conventional and electronic cigarettes, declined among USA teens a year ago, according to the latest national survey data from the CDC.

Among middle school students, 4.3% reported e-cigarette use, while roughly 2% reported smoking traditional cigarettes or cigars or using smokeless tobacco.

Among middle school students, 4.3 percent used e-cigarettes in 2016, down from 5.3 percent in 2015.

In the United States, 2,500 youths under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette, and 400 become daily smokers.

"While the latest numbers from the 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey are encouraging, it is critical that we work to ensure this downward trend continues over the long term across all tobacco products", said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb.

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive substance that can affect the developing teenage brain.

The findings are in line with the University of Michigan's annual Monitoring the Future survey, which showed a drop in youth vaping in 2016 down to 13 percent of high school students.

"This represents a historic public health victory", said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, adding that the dramatic decline was the result of public messaging campaigns directed at youth. Some studies, most notably the Royal College of Physicians, have determined that e-cigs may be 95 percent less harmful than traditional cigarettes. "They are the most commonly used tobacco products among youth in the US, with more than 2.2 million youths using them". The survey asked people to consider the potential harms of all electronic vapor products including e-cigarettes as well as e-hookahs, hookah pens, vape pens and e-cigars.

The CDC did not specify which products were most frequently used together but Brian King, the CDC Office on Smoking and Health's deputy director for research translation, said previous studies have shown that the most common dual use pairing is between cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

"This should put to bed any remaining concerns that e-cigarettes are a gateway to cigarettes or will lead to a re-normalization of smoking", Siegel said.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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