Emergence of electronic cigarette use in US adolescents and the link to traditional cigarette use.
Tobacco use and addiction most often begin during youth and young adulthood. Youth use of tobacco in any form is unsafe. To determine the prevalence and trends of current (past 30-day) use of nine tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookahs, tobacco pipes, snus, dissolvable tobacco, and bidis) among U.S. middle (grades 6-8) and high school (grades 9-12) students, CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2011-2014 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS). In 2014, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among middle (3.9%) and high (13.4%) school students. Between 2011 and 2014, statistically significant increases were observed among these students for current use of both e-cigarettes and hookahs (p<0.05), while decreases were observed for current use of more traditional products, such as cigarettes and cigars, resulting in no change in overall tobacco use. Consequently, 4.6 million middle and high school students continue to be exposed to harmful tobacco product constituents, including nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence, a critical window for brain development, might have lasting adverse consequences for brain development, causes addiction, and might lead to sustained tobacco use. For this reason, comprehensive and sustained strategies are needed to prevent and reduce the use of all tobacco products among youths in the United States.