New CDC Data Reveals Vaping Use Near 33% in the U.S.
Use of electronic vapor products, or vaping, more than doubled among US high school students from 2017 to 2019 (from 13.2% in 2017 to 32.7% in 2019), a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found. Current cigarette smoking decreased from 8.8% to 6% during that time, as did cigar smoking (from 8% to 5.7%) and smokeless tobacco use (from 5.5% to 3.8%).
Current use of any tobacco product increased from 19.5% in 2017 to 36.5% in 2019.
“The dramatic increase in electronic vapor product use among high school students has led to increases in overall tobacco product use among U.S. youths, erasing gains made in previous years and leading the U.S. Surgeon General to declare youth e-cigarette use an epidemic in the United States,” the authors write.
“The new youth tobacco use data released today from CDC’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey confirm that our nation is facing multiple public health crises simultaneously: the COVID-19 pandemic, continued racial health equity disparities, and a youth vaping crisis,” Harold Wimmer, president and CEO of the American Lung Association, said in a statement about the findings.
“The dramatic increase in youth vaping led to a near doubling of overall tobacco product use among high school students, from 19.5% in 2017 to 36.5% in 2019,” he added.
MeLisa R. Creamer, PhD, from the Office on Smoking and Health in the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and colleagues report their findings in an article published online August 20 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The researchers analyzed data from the 1991 to 2019 cycles of the CDC’s biennial national Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The findings, the authors say, are in line with those from other national surveillance systems, including the National Youth Tobacco Survey and Monitoring the Future.
Frequent use (20 or more days during the previous 30 days) of electronic vapor products also increased among current electronic vapor product users (from 25.1% to 32.6%), but frequent cigarette smoking fell, and frequent use of smokeless tobacco or cigars remained the same among users of those products.
The use of two or more tobacco products did not change from 2017 to 2019. “Multiple tobacco product use is associated with substance use disorders and might increase nicotine exposure and risk for nicotine dependence,” the authors explain.
Differences by Demographic Group
Among current vapers, the usual source of obtaining these products differed by age. Those aged 17 years or younger most often said they borrowed them from someone else (42.8%). Among those age 18 or older, 56.4% said they purchased them in a store.
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