11% of Middle, High School Students Use Tobacco

National Youth Tobacco Survey finds e-cigarettes are most-used product
Photograph: Shutterstock

SILVER SPRING, Md.— More than 3 million students—or 11.3% of middle and high school students—currently use a tobacco product, the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey found. This includes about 16.5% of high school students and 4.5% of middle school students.

E-cigarettes were the most-used product (9.4%), followed by cigars (1.9%), cigarettes (1.6%), smokeless (1.3%), hookahs (1.1%), nicotine pouches (1.1%), heated tobacco products (1%) and pipe tobacco (0.6%), according to the survey.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention previously released findings from the survey on youth e-cigarette use, which included the finding that nearly 85% reported using flavored e-cigarettes, and in mid-November, it highlighted results of all tobacco products.

“It’s clear we’ve made commendable progress in reducing cigarette smoking among our nation’s youth; however, with an ever-changing tobacco product landscape, there’s still more work to be done” said Brian King, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products (CTP). “We must continue to tackle all forms of tobacco product use among youth, including meaningfully addressing the notable disparities that continue to persist.” 

Nearly 1 million youth, or 3.5% of students surveyed, said they currently used multiple—two or more—tobacco products, according to the survey.

The survey also highlighted disparities in tobacco product use across population groups, the FDA said. For example, current use of any tobacco product was higher among those identifying as lesbian, gay or bisexual at 16% and those identifying as transgender at 16.6%. Current tobacco use of students identifying as non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native was 13.5%, according to the survey.

Data were collected between January and May of 2022 using an online survey among U.S. middle school and high school students. Current use of a product is defined as use of a tobacco product during the past 30 days.

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