CDC Report: Teen Use of Tobacco Products Remains Steady
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CDC Report: Teen Use of Tobacco Products Remains Steady

April 14, 2016

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) doesn't have good news when it comes to teen tobacco use.

Overall tobacco use by middle and high school students hasn't changed since 2011 and after a significant drop between 2011 and 2014, current use of traditional cigarettes between this year and last, remained steady. E-cigarette use continues to increase among teens and is currently the most popular tobacco product.

According to data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey, in 2015, 4.7 million middle and high school students have used a tobacco product at least once in the past 30 days, the definition of a current user. More than half are considered current users of two or more tobacco products. The number of current users of e-cigarettes increased from 2.46 million in 2015 to 3 million in 2015.

The number of users of traditional cigarettes dropped substantially between 2011 and 2014, but those numbers didn't continue to drop between 2014 and 2015 and remained steady.

Instead, the number of current e-cigarette users continues to increase. Between 2011 and 2015, e-cigarette use increased from 1.5 percent to 16 percent among high school students and from less than a percent to 5.3 percent among middle schoolers.

Students also used cigars, hookahs, pipes, bidis and chewing tobacco.

"We're very concerned that one in four high school students use tobacco, and that almost half of those use more than one product," the CDC's Corinne Graffunder said in a statement. "We know about 90 percent of all adult smokers first try cigarettes as teens. Fully implementing proven tobacco control strategies could prevent another generation of Americans from suffering from tobacco-related diseases and premature deaths."

FDA has regulatory authority over cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The agency is finalizing the rule to bring additional tobacco products such as e-cigarettes, hookahs, and some or all cigars under that same authority.