From a news release by U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Feb. 11: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released additional data from the joint FDA/CDC 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. These data are a sobering reminder of the initial results shared last fall indicating a rampant rise of youth e-cigarette use, which has prompted the FDA to take a series of escalating regulatory actions as part of its Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan. The FDA is advancing those actions, and committing to some new steps. The epidemic use of e-cigarettes among children is one of the biggest public health challenges currently facing the FDA.
Approximately 4.9 million middle and high school students were current users (used in the past 30 days) of some type of tobacco product in 2018, up from 3.6 million in 2017. This increase is driven by an alarming surge in e-cigarette use. More than 3.6 million middle and high school students were current (past 30 day) e-cigarette users in 2018, a dramatic increase of more than 1.5 million students in one year. The study authors suggest — as the FDA also noted at the time of the initial release of this data in the fall — that the rise in e-cigarette use in the last year is likely due to the recent popularity of certain types of e-cigarettes, such as JUUL. Further, youth who use e-cigarettes also are using them more frequently and using flavored products more often than last year. Many youth tobacco product users are also using multiple products.