Fewer Teens Are Vaping and Smoking, CDC Survey Finds

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The CDC used data from a survey conducted in OR and found that 43.5 percent of eighth-grade students and 34.4 percent of 11th-grade students reported that e-cigarettes were the first tobacco product they used.

According to the CDC, the number of middle and high school students who used any tobacco product fell to 3.9M a year ago from 4.7M in 2015.

"I was surprised to see that most of the countries were in the 10 to 20 percent range; I would have thought the numbers would be higher, but they either are similar or slightly higher than rates in the USA which are around 10 to 15 percent", said Dr. Maher Karam-Hage, associate medical director of the tobacco treatment program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Use of the products among high school students fell to 11.3% in the 2016 survey, but King told MedPage Today that it is too soon to say if the decline in youth e-cigarette use represents a trend.

However, that means almost 4 million middle and high school students are still using tobacco products, the CDC researchers said. The survey results show no significant change in the number of young tobacco users despite the decline in e-cigarette and tobacco use. E-cigarettes once thought safer are no longer considered any better. But she added that the rapid innovation in the e-cigarette industry "underscores the urgency for full implementation of FDA regulation" of the products. But health officials have warned that nicotine in e-cigarettes is harmful to developing brains. "But it also includes other ingredients, such as ultra-fine particulates that go deep into the lungs and heavy metals and volatile organic compounds", he said. In December, then-US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued a report that detailed the adverse health effects of using e-cigarettes.

Public health experts want to ensure that these numbers keep shrinking. "The use of any tobacco product is unsafe, irrespective of whether it's smoked, smokeless or electronic".

Adults aged 45 to 64 were less likely to be uncertain about the risk of exposing kids to second-hand e-cigarette smoke than younger adults aged 18 to 24, the study also found.

The findings echo a recent University of MI survey, which also detected a decline in 2016.

The report also found that 20.2 percent of high school students and 7.2 percent of middle school students reported current use of any tobacco product. "They are the most commonly used tobacco products among youth in the USA, with more than 2.2 million youths using them". The proportion of student smokers who said they desired to quit ranged from a low of 32 percent in Uruguay to a high of 90 percent in the Philippines.

Over the last five years more kids have started using e-cigarettes and hookah.

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Among all middle school students in 2016, the most commonly used products after e-cigarettes were: cigarettes (2.2 percent), cigars (2.2 percent), smokeless tobacco (2.2 percent), hookah (2.0 percent), pipe tobacco (0.7 percent), and bidis (0.3 percent).

Despite the decline, e-cigarettes remained the most commonly consumed tobacco product among youth for the third year in a row, used by 11.3% of high schoolers and 4.3% of middle schoolers. In fact, in 2014, e-cigarettes surpassed traditional cigarettes as the most commonly used tobacco product among teenagers. Among black high school students, cigars were the most commonly used product.

The liquid used in e-cigarettes comes in fruit and candy flavors like cherry and peppermint.

Truth Initiative® is a national public-health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco.

Brian King, deputy director for research translation in the CDC's Office of Smoking and Health and one of the authors of the report says that this report is both "good news" and "bad".

These programs, however, are in danger of disappearing, Myers said.

What's yet to be seen is whether last year's drop in E-cigarettes was an anomaly. Because of this, authorities are continuous in their efforts to educate the youth about the implications and dangers of tobacco use as well as tobacco-based diseases and deaths.

The report was published June 16 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.

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