Tobacco use in decline

The current use among US high school students of any tobacco product decreased from 24.2 percent (3.69 million) in 2011 to 19.6 percent (2.95 million) in 2017, according to findings made public yesterday by the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings, from the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, showed, too, that among middle school students, current use of any tobacco product decreased from 7.5 percent (0.87 million) in 2011 to 5.6 percent (0.67 million) in 2017.
‘By product, among both middle and high school students, there were decreases in use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, pipes and bidis, and an increase in e-cigarette use, according to a press note issued through the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.
‘Despite the overall decline, in 2017, about one in five high school students and one in 18 middle school students currently used a tobacco product. ‘For the fourth year in a row, e-cigarettes continued to be the most commonly used tobacco product [the FDA deems e-cigarettes to be tobacco products] among high school (11.7 percent; 1.73 million) and middle school (3.3 percent; 0.39 million) students.
‘Furthermore, about one in two (46.8 percent) high school students who currently used a tobacco product and two in five (41.8 percent) middle school students who currently used a tobacco product reported using two or more tobacco products.’
The authors were said to have concluded that the sustained implementation of population-based strategies, in co-ordination with the regulation of tobacco products by the FDA, were critical to reducing all forms of tobacco product use and initiation among young people.
‘Youth tobacco use rates, particularly e-cigarette use, continue to be of concern to FDA,’ the note said. ‘This spring, FDA announced a Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan, which includes a series of enforcement actions to prevent initiation of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, by youth.
‘Further, FDA continues to invest in compelling, science-based campaigns, like “The Real Cost” and “This Free Life,” to educate youth about the dangers of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
‘In fall 2017, FDA further expanded “The Real Cost” campaign to include an online e-cigarette prevention ad. A full-scale e-cigarette prevention effort under “The Real Cost” brand umbrella is planned for fall 2018.’