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Youth E-Cigarette Use Remains High: Latest Trends

More than 2.5 million high school and middle school students currently use e-cigarettes, according to the most recent results of the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS).


A closer look at the recently released survey reveals adolescent e-cigarette use remains enticing, leading to concerning numbers.


Survey Findings

Illustration of students vaping and current trends

Approximately 14.1% of high school students (2.14 million) and 3.3% of middle school students (380,000) reported using e-cigarettes or other vape products.

  • How often they use: About 1 in 4 – or 27.6%– report using daily; 4 in 10 – or 42.3%– report using at least 20 of the last 30 days.

  • Fun flavors preferred: Nearly 85% of the youth used flavored e-cigarettes, with fruit being the top preferred flavor, followed by sweets, mint and menthol.

  • Preferred device: More than half (55.3%) used disposable e-cigarettes, which come pre-filled with e-liquid and can be discarded after a single use; approximately a quarter preferred pre-filled or refillable pods or cartridges.

  • Preferred brand: Students reported using various electronic cigarette and vape brands, such as Puff Bar (14.5%), Vuse (12.5%), Hyde (5.5%) and SMOK (4%).


About the NYTS Survey


Students walking in a school hallway

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lead the NYTS survey annually. Responses were collected from January through May of 2022 using a cross-sectional, self-administered survey of U.S. middle school (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9 -12) students.


Students reported their frequency of e-cigarette use during the previous 30 days. They could physically complete the survey at school or home via remote learning. Nearly all students – 99.3% – completed the survey in school.


The Bottom Line


While the survey data is startling enough, being a cross-sectional survey focusing on a snapshot period of 30 days – and relying on self-reporting – could produce use underestimation or overestimation. Nonetheless, it underscores the ease of use of e-cigarettes among students, a public health concern that needs further and more persistent addressing.


By Linda Antinoro

Reviewed by Cindy Bistany, DHSc


References:


Cooper M, Park-Lee E, Ren C, Cornelius M, Jamal A, Cullen KA. Notes from the Field: E-cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2022. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2022;71:1283–1285 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7140a3.htm?s_cid=mm7140a3_w

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2022, October 6). Results from the Annual National Youth Tobacco Survey. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved November 4, 2022, from https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/youth-and-tobacco/results-annual-national-youth-tobacco-survey

Eunice Park-Lee, PhD; Chunfeng Ren, Maria Cooper, PhD; Monica Cornelius, PhD; Ahmed Jamal, MBBS; Karen A. Cullen, PhD. Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2022 https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7145a1.htm?s_cid=mm7145a1_w

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