Stories

Youth tobacco use highest in 19 years

Data: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Table: Axios Visuals

New data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey show that 6.2 million middle school and high school students use tobacco, the highest level since 2000.

Why it matters: Tobacco use among middle schoolers and high schoolers remains high thanks to the popularity of e-cigarettes.

  • Health advocates and some states are blaming misleading advertising, media and inconspicuous vape devices like Juul for enticing kids to try e-cigarettes.

Findings: This year, NYTS asked teens why they smoked e-cigarettes. More than half cited their curiosity and almost one-fourth said they tried them because of the flavors.

  • E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among high school and middle school students for the sixth year in a row.
  • About seven in 10 middle and high school students currently using tobacco used flavored tobacco products.