What Crackdown? More High School Students Are Using E-Cigarettes

Despite government attempts to crack down, more high school students are using e-cigarettes, a new survey suggests.

More high school students are using e-cigarettes, despite government attempts to crack down on vaping, according to a new survey published Thursday.

The National Youth Tobacco Survey, which polled more than 28,000 students from 341 schools, showed 14.1% of high schoolers reporting using e-cigarettes in the last month. That is up from last year’s results, which had 13.4% of high schoolers who said the used e-cigarettes.

The opposite phenomenon is playing out among middle schoolers: 3.3% of children in this age group reported using e-cigarettes this year compared to 4% in the 2021 survey.

Flavored products were the most commonly used, as 86% of youth e-cigarette users reported using flavored products with fruit being the most commonly used flavor followed by candy and mint.

The most commonly-used brands for youths include Puff Bar, Vuse and SMOK. Another commonly used brand JUUL has faced regulatory scrutiny. The company was ordered off the market in the US by the FDA in June.

“Adolescent e-cigarette use in the United States remains at concerning levels, and poses a serious public health risk to our nation’s youth,” said Brian King, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “Together with the CDC, protecting our nation’s youth from the dangers of tobacco products—including e-cigarettes — remains among the FDA’s highest priorities, and we are committed to combating this issue with the breadth of our regulatory authorities.”

The NYTS study notes that due to changes in methodology, which included differences in survey administration and data collection procedures, the ability to compare between 2022 and previous studies is “limited.”

The CDC said in a statement that the youth usage of e-cigarettes is unsafe, as the products contain nicotine, which is highly-addictive and can harm a developing adolescent brain.

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