CDC Vital Signs Finds Increases in Youth Tobacco Use

This month’s edition of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Vital Signs publication details increasing tobacco use among youth, largely due to use of electronic cigarettes. The report determines that more than one in four high school students and about one in 14 middle school students in 2018 had used a tobacco product in the past 30 days.

The CDC found that this was a considerable increase from 2017, driven by an increase in electronic cigarette use. Among high school students, electronic cigarette use increased from 11.7 percent to 20.8 percent. Among middle school students, electronic cigarette use increased from 3.3 percent to 4.9 percent. No change was found in the use of other tobacco products, including cigarettes, during this period. There were 1.5 million more youth electronic cigarette users in 2018 than in 2017 and use of any tobacco product grew by 38.3 percent among high school students from 2017 to 2018. Other notable findings from this month’s edition of Vital Signs include:

  • Electronic cigarettes remain the most commonly used tobacco product, ahead of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, and pipes
  • Electronic cigarettes are the most commonly used product in combination with other tobacco products
  • Electronic cigarette use is highest among boys, whites, and high school students

The Vital Signs report goes on to detail strategies and interventions for parents and educators, healthcare providers, schools, and state and local governments. The full CDC Vital Signs report is available here.