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Tobacco Product Use Decreased Among U.S. Middle, High School Students

THURSDAY, Dec. 17, 2020 -- Current use of any tobacco product was reported by 16.2 percent of all U.S. middle and high school students in 2020, according to research published in the Dec. 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Andrea S. Gentzke, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2019 and 2020 National Youth Tobacco Surveys to determine changes in current use of seven tobacco products among U.S. middle and high school students.

The researchers found that current use of any tobacco product was reported by 16.2 percent (4.47 million) of all students in 2020, including 23.6 and 6.7 percent of high school and middle school students, respectively. The most commonly used tobacco product among high school and middle school students was electronic cigarettes (19.6 and 4.7 percent, respectively). Among high school and middle school students, there were decreases noted in current use of any tobacco product, any combustible tobacco product, multiple tobacco products, e-cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco from 2019 to 2020, resulting in about 1.73 million fewer youth tobacco product users. No significant changes were seen in use of cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, or heated tobacco products from 2019 to 2020.

"As the tobacco product landscape continues to diversify, surveillance for all forms of tobacco product use, including novel products, by youths is important to inform public health policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels," the authors write.

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Posted: December 2020

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