A study released today (attached) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 2 million U.S. middle and high school students report currently using e-cigarettes in 2021, with more than 8 in 10 of young people using those flavored e-cigarettes.
The report, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, based on data from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), a cross-sectional, self-administered survey of middle U.S. (grades 6-8) and high (grades 9-12) students at school. The study examined current (used one or more in the past 30 days) e-cigarette use; frequent use; and used by device type, flavors, and custom brand.
This NYTS-launched Jan. 18-May 21, 2021-is the first fully funded amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Data was collected using an online survey to allow qualified students to participate in the classroom, at home or elsewhere to account for different school settings at this time. Prior to the pandemic, the survey was conducted in person, inside the school building. Due to the methodological changes made in this year’s survey, the results of the 2021 NYTS are not comparable to findings from previous surveys.
However, the 2021 NYTS provides important information about youth use of e-cigarettes. However, if many students are in remote learning environments that may affect their access to tobacco products, an estimated 11.3% (1.72 million) are high school students and an estimated 2.8% (320,000) of middle school students now report e-cigarette use. .
“These data underscore the fact that those with flavored e-cigarettes are still loved by children. And we were equally upset with a quarter of high school students who used e-cigarettes and said they were vaping. every day, ”said Mitch Zeller, JD, director of the Center for Tobacco Products.“ FDA action continues against those who sell or target e-cigarettes and e-liquids to children, such as saw last year alone rejecting more than a million premarket applications for flavored electronic products in the nicotine delivery system. Critically these products are out of the market and out of the hands of the youth of our country. ”
Other Key Findings
- Most Use: Among youth who currently use e-cigarettes, 43.6% of high school students and 17.2% of middle school students report using e-cigarettes by 20 or more. in the last 30 days. Also among current users, more than 1 in 4 (27.6%) high school students and about 1 in 12 (8.3%) middle school students who use e-cigarettes use them daily.
- Device Type Use: Among young people who now use e-cigarettes, the most commonly used e-cigarette device type are disposable (53.7%), followed by prefilled or refillable pods or cartridges ( 28.7%), and tank or mod system (9.0%).
- Taste Use: Among young people who currently use e-cigarettes, 84.7% use flavored e-cigarettes including 85.8% in high school and 79.2% of middle school users. In general, the most commonly used flavor types are fruit; candy, sweets, or other sweets; mint; and menthol. (Note that these results refer to flavors other than tobacco.)
- Brand Use: Among high school students who now use e-cigarettes, 26.1%report their usual brand is Puff Bar, followed by Vuse (10.8%), SMOK (9.6%), JUUL ( 5.7%) and Suorin (2.3%). Among middle school students who now use e-cigarettes, 30.3% report their usual branded Puff Bar, and 12.5% report JUUL. Rarely, 15.6% of high school users and 19.3% of middle school users reported not being aware of the brand of e-cigarette they commonly use.
“This study showed that even during the COVID-19 pandemic, e-cigarette use among young people remained a serious public health concern,” said Karen Hacker, MD, MPH, Director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. “It is critical that we continue to work together to protect young people from the dangers associated with tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes. Our public health efforts include CDCs National and State Tobacco Control Program, and resources for teachers, parents, and providers to warn young people about tobacco products and help them quit. ”
Addressing Tobacco Product Use in Children
Young people’s use of tobacco products-in any form, including electronic nicotine delivery systems (TAPOS) such as e-cigarettes-is unsafe. Such products contain nicotine, which is most addictive and damaging to the developing brain of youth. Nicotine use in adolescence may also increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs.
Ongoing efforts to address the use of e-cigarettes among young people are essential, including by the FDA significant progressexternal icon made on the unprecedented count of timely premarket applications received on September 9, 2020, the court-ordered ruling for considered new tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
The agency has taken action on more than 96% of applications to date, including the issuance of marketing denial orders (MDOs) for more than a million ENDS-flavored products that are especially popular with young people. on. MDOs are issued for products whose application does not have sufficient evidence that the products benefit adult smokers to overcome public health concerns as demonstrated by the well-documented and sufficient appeal of the products. young people. The FDA has known a number of companies, such as Puff Bar, to claim that their products contain synthetic nicotine that is not extracted from tobacco, which can raise various regulatory issues and legally considered by the agency what is most likely to be discussed.
Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most frequently used tobacco product among youth in the United States. As the tobacco product landscape continues to improve, the continued implementation of comprehensive tobacco control and avoidance measures at national, state, and local levels, along with FDA regulations, will prevent and reduce the launch of the tobacco product and use among young people.