About 6.2 million U.S. middle and high school students were current (past 30-day) users of some type of tobacco product in 2019, according to new National Youth Tobacco Survey data.
The survey found that about one in three high school students (4.7 million) and about one in eight middle school students (1.5 million) are current tobacco users.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids the percentage of tobacco users among U.S. high school students is at its highest level in 19 years.
For the sixth year in a row, e-cigarettes were the most used tobacco product among high school (27.5 percent) and middle school students (10.5 percent). Tobacco products used by middle and high school students were not limited to e-cigarettes, but also included cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, and pipe tobacco.
“Our Nation’s youth are becoming increasingly exposed to nicotine, a drug that is highly addictive and can harm brain development,” said Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Youth use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. It is incumbent upon public health and healthcare professionals to educate Americans about the risks resulting from this epidemic among our youth.”