E-Cigarettes the Most Widely Used Tobacco Product Among Teens

Join Together News Service from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

E-cigarettes are now the most widely used tobacco product among teens, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). E-cigarette use rose among middle school and high school students from 2011 to 2015, the report found.

Three million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2015, an increase of 2.5 percent from the previous year. Among high school students, e-cigarette use rose from 1.5 percent to 16 percent, according to the report. Among middle school students, e-cigarette use increased from 0.6 percent to 5.3 percent during that period.

Overall, use of tobacco products by teens has not fallen since 2011, HealthDay reports. One-fourth of high school students use tobacco products. “E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, and use continues to climb,” CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a news release. “No form of youth tobacco use is safe. Nicotine is an addictive drug, and use during adolescence may cause lasting harm to brain development.”

In 2015, the CDC found 4.7 million middle and high school students said they used a tobacco product at least once in the previous month. More than 2.3 million teens used two or more tobacco products.

There was no change in cigarette smoking among teens between 2014 and 2015, the report found. Nine percent of high school students and 2 percent of middle school students smoked cigarettes in 2015. The CDC found other tobacco products used by high school students last year included cigars (8.6 percent); hookahs (7 percent); smokeless tobacco (6 percent); and bidis (0.6 percent).

The Food and Drug Administration is finalizing a rule to regulate tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, hookahs and some or all cigars. “The FDA remains deeply concerned about the overall high rate at which children and adolescents use tobacco products, including novel products such as e-cigarettes and hookah,” said Mitch Zeller, Director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

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    May 4, 2016 at 10:40 AM

    Will be deemed a tobacco product and rightfully so. Nicotine comes from tobacco.

    Addiction is addiction. For those who can vape to stop smoking, good for you…now stop vaping. There are lots of unknowns about the effects of vaping on health. Our lungs weren’t really made for inhaling aerosol. Now we’ve got an industry that made trillions lying to us about cigarettes telling us vaping is safe. I guess I have trust issues.

    This industry is (once again) marketing our youth. Kids who say they would never become a cigarette smoker are vaping. They’re attracted to the 7000 flavors including sweet tart, cotton candy and banana split.

    Every E cig has a lithium battery. Those that don’t explode in their users faces are filling our landfills.

    Something that looks like smoking is becoming cool again and we don’t really know how harmful it is. Best choice…steer clear from all tobacco products, including E-cigarettes.

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    Elaine Keller

    May 3, 2016 at 6:33 PM

    I find it egregious that the CDC is misleading the public about youth tobacco use. If e-cigarettes are, in reality, a tobacco product, then so are all Nicorette products. They contain nicotine, but no tobacco. Furthermore, non-smoking youth who use e-cigarettes are mostly using only flavored liquids containing no nicotine, making them not fit any definition of “tobacco product.” Why wouldn’t any health provider, including doctors who work for the CDC, prefer that to youth lighting up conventional cigarettes? As Fr. Kearney pointed out, youth smoking rates are down. Way down. That should be cause for celebration.

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    Debi Hudson

    May 3, 2016 at 4:55 PM

    I am a smoking cessation counselor or as we professionals call ourselves a “tobacco treatment specialist”. E-cigs are not a smoking cessation device! The majority of these devices are manufactured by the tobacco industry who apposed them being labeled as “smoking cessation devices” and most manufacturers even state on their website they are NOT smoking cessation aides. The nicotine in the e-juice is derived from tobacco, thus they are in fact a tobacco product.

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    Fr. Jack Kearney

    April 20, 2016 at 5:35 PM

    1. E-cigs are not a tobacco product, except for lawyers and bureaucrats. For us smoking cessation counselors they are an evidence-based tool for quitting smoking.
    2. You forgot to mention that with the rise of vaping there has been a significant decrease in smoking cigarettes with teens. Isn’t that a good thing?
    3. Nobody wants teens to smoke or vape. Vaping is for adult smokers who choose to use harm reduction to quit smoking.
    4. The vaping community supports reasonable regulations that would help keep vaping away from kids. Unfortunately the American Lung Association has actually opposed legislation that would makes sales to minors illegal. Wow.

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    April 19, 2016 at 3:04 PM

    Not a tobacco product-

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