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Prevalence of E-Cigarette Use High Among U.S. Students

TUESDAY, June 8, 2021 -- Current electronic cigarette use, frequent use, and flavored e-cigarette use is high among high school and middle school students in the United States, according to a study published online June 7 in JAMA Network Open.

Teresa W. Wang, Ph.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues characterized e-cigarette use behaviors among U.S. youth using data from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey. A total of 14,531 students from 180 schools completed the survey.

The researchers found that 19.6 and 4.7 percent of high school students and middle school students, respectively, reported current e-cigarette use. Of these, 38.9 and 20.0 percent, respectively, reported e-cigarette use on 20 to 30 days within the past 30 days. JUUL was the most commonly reported usual brand among current users (25.4 and 35.1 percent for high school and middle school students, respectively). The most common source of obtaining e-cigarettes was from a friend (57.1 and 58.9 percent for high school and middle school students, respectively). Among current users, flavored e-cigarette use was reported by 84.7 and 73.9 percent of high school and middle school students, respectively. The most commonly reported flavor among current users of prefilled pods or cartridges, disposable e-cigarettes, and tank-based devices was fruit flavor (67.3, 85.8, and 82.7 percent, respectively), followed by mint-flavored e-cigarettes.

"These findings reinforce the importance of population-based strategies, coupled with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation, to reverse the youth e-cigarette epidemic and foster a tobacco-free generation," the authors write.

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