2022 survey shows youth e-cigarette epidemic remains a serious public health threat

Cooper M, Park-Lee E, Ren C, et al. Notes from the Field: E-cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 7 October 2022. 71(40);1283–1285. “The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed nationally representative data from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), a school-based, cross-sectional, self-administered survey conducted during January 18–May 31, 2022, using a web-based survey instrument and administered to U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students….

In 2022, 2.55 million U.S. middle and high school students used e-cigarettes. Most reported using flavored products, and among those students, approximately seven of 10 used fruit flavors. Disposable products were the most commonly reported device type. Further, among middle and high school students who used e-cigarettes, approximately four in 10 reported frequent use, and approximately one in four reported daily use. Using tobacco products in any form, including e-cigarettes, by middle and high school students is unsafe. Sustained implementation of comprehensive tobacco prevention and control strategies at the national, state, and local levels, coupled with FDA regulation and enforcement, is critical to addressing e-cigarette use among middle and high school students.”

Comment: US health authorities have been criticized for inaction in restricting the use of e-cigarettes and the inadequate regulation of e-cigarette sales, including flavored products preferred by youth. Youth use grew slightly in 2022 from 2021 levels.

Stephen Hamann

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