The CDC reports that the use of nontraditional tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, continues to rise among teens, which is stalling efforts to reduce tobacco use.
In 2015, an estimated 4.7 million high school and middle school students reported current use of any tobacco product and almost half reported using at least two tobacco products, resulting in no decline in overall tobacco use among teens since 2011, according to Tushar Singh, MD, PhD, of the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues.
However, one positive finding from the survey results, published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, is that use of traditional cigarettes continued to decline among teens between 2011 and 2014, particularly the use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, and bidis. But there was no decline in tobacco use overall.
In the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among teens for the second year in a row, with 16% of high school students, and 5.3% of middle school students reported current use of e-cigarettes.
Between 2011 and 2015, use of e-cigarettes increased from 1.5% to 16% among high school students and from 0.6% to 5.3% among middle school students surveyed.
“E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, and use continues to climb,” said Tom Frieden MD, CDC director, in a written statement. “No form of youth tobacco use is safe. Nicotine is an addictive drug and use during adolescence may cause lasting harm to brain development.”