Notes from the Field: Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. MMWR Weekly.
September 6, 2013;63(35):729-730.
This study examined data from the 2011 and 2012 National
Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), a questionnaire given to US middle school and high
school students, to estimate the prevalence of ever and current use (one or
more days in the past 30 days) of e-cigarettes, conventional cigarettes, or
both. Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that
provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol.
Depending on the brand, e-cigarette cartridges typically contain nicotine, a
component to produce the aerosol (e.g., propylene glycol or glycerol), and
flavorings (e.g., fruit, mint, or chocolate). Findings showed that among all students (grades 6-12), ever e-cigarette
use more than doubled from 2011 (3.3%) to 2012 (6.8%). In 2012, among
e-cigarette users, 9.3% reported never smoking conventional cigarettes; among
current e-cigarette users, 76.3% reported current conventional cigarette
smoking. The authors express serious concern over these results due to the
uncertain impact of e-cigarette use on public health. Potential concerns
include the negative impact of nicotine on adolescent brain development, as
well as the risk for nicotine addiction and initiation of the use of
conventional cigarettes or other tobacco products.