Youth tobacco use drops during 2011-17

A new CDC and FDA survey reveals that the number of U.S. middle and high school students who are using tobacco products has declined, but the number is still too high.

A new CDC and FDA survey reveals that the number of U.S. middle and high school students who are using tobacco products has declined, but the number is still too high. The 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 3.6 million middle and high school students reported being current tobacco product users (having used a tobacco product in the past 30 days) last year, down from about 4.5 million in 2011. The survey found that nearly 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 18 middle school students reported current use of any tobacco product last year, vs. nearly 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 13 middle school students in 2011. Of the 3.6 million tobacco product users last year, 2.1 million reported using e-cigarettes. The survey also noted that about 47% of high school students and 42% of middle school students said they used two or more tobacco products. "Despite promising declines in tobacco use, far too many young people continue to use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes," said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD. "Comprehensive, sustained strategies can help prevent and reduce tobacco use and protect our nation's youth from this preventable health risk." In addition to regulating the manufacturing, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products, proven population-based strategies can help to lower youth tobacco use and initiation. Such strategies include increasing the prices of tobacco products, protecting people from exposure to secondhand smoke and e-cigarette aerosol, sustaining hard-hitting media campaigns that warn about the risks of tobacco product use, and restricting youth access to tobacco products.