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NAQC Newsroom: Research

Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2015.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016  
Posted by: Natalia Gromov
Tushar Singh, René A. Arrazola, Catherine G. Corey, Corinne G. Husten, Linda J. Neff, David M. Homa, Brian A. King.
Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2015.
Centers for Disease Control MMWR. Weekly / Vol. 65 / No. 14 April 15, 2016.
Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States; if current smoking rates continue, 5.6 million Americans aged <18 years who are alive today are projected to die prematurely from smoking-related disease (1). Tobacco use and addiction mostly begin during youth and young adulthood (1,2). CDC and the Food and Drug administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2011–2015 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS) to determine the prevalence and trends of current (past 30-day) use of seven tobacco product types (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes [e-cigarettes], hookahs [water pipes used to smoke tobacco], pipe tobacco, and bidis [small imported cigarettes wrapped in a tendu leaf ]) among U.S. middle (grades 6–8) and high (grades 9–12)
school students. In 2015, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among middle (5.3%) and high (16.0%) school students. During 2011–2015, significant increases in current use of e-cigarettes and hookahs occurred among middle and high school students, whereas current use of conventional tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars decreased, resulting in no change in overall tobacco product use. During 2014–2015, current use of e-cigarettes increased among middle school students, whereas current use of hookahs decreased among high school students; in contrast, no change was observed in use of hookahs among middle school students, use of e-cigarettes among high school students, or use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipe tobacco, or bidis among middle and high school students. In 2015, an estimated 4.7 million middle and high school students were current tobacco product users, and, therefore, continue to be exposed to harmful tobacco product constituents, including nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence, a critical period for brain development, can cause addiction, might harm brain development, and could lead to sustained tobacco product use among youths (1,3). Comprehensive and sustained strategies are warranted to prevent and reduce the use of all tobacco products among U.S. youths.

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