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Data document significant drop in youth smoking

June 19, 2017
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Current smoking among middle and high school students dropped significantly between 2015 and 2016, with nearly all of the decrease attributed to a decline in electronic cigarette use, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) Center for Tobacco Products.

The total number of middle and high school students reporting that they used a tobacco product in the past 30 days dropped from 4.7 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2016, according to data published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The prevalence of e-cigarette use among these students decreased from 3 million in 2015 to just under 2.2 million in 2016.

E-cigarettes remained the most popular tobacco product in this age group for the third straight year, with 11.3% of high school students using the products. The data also show a decline in use of multiple tobacco products among high schoolers.

“The FDA has invested heavily in compelling, science-based education campaigns, such as 'The Real Cost,' that have already helped prevent nearly 350,000 kids from smoking cigarettes, and continues to enforce important youth access restrictions,” FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a news release. “We plan to build on these vital efforts to reduce tobacco-related disease and death.”