E-cigarettes remain the most popular tobacco product among teens
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According to a study published Thursday by the United States Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This is the ninth consecutive year that e-cigarettes have ranked first among eight commercial tobacco products surveyed by agencies in the National Youth Smoking Survey.
At Altus Public Schools in Oklahoma, there has been an increase in disciplinary dismissals due to tobacco and THC use, said a recent letter from Superintendent Roe Worbes. As a result, the district has hired an additional school resource officer and nurse, installed vaping detectors in middle and high schools, and continues to use a social skills and emotional coping program for students.
“We are asking parents and community members to help us by talking with students about the importance of protecting their health and maintaining a drug-free school environment,” the letter reads.
Nationally, the FDA and CDC have said about 3 million high school students – about 11.3% of the total middle and high school student population – reported using tobacco in the past 30 days. Cigars and cigarettes were the second and third most common forms of tobacco use, respectively.
Among student racial groups, non-Hispanic Native American or Alaska Native students had the highest percentage of use of any tobacco product at 13.5%. The study only questioned student use of commercial tobacco products and not the sacred and traditional use of tobacco by some Native American communities.
Non-Hispanic white college students reported the highest percentage of e-cigarette use at 11%. Non-Hispanic black students reported the highest percentage of use of combustible tobacco products, or tobacco products that produce smoke, at 5.7%, including 3.3% who smoked cigars.
Higher rates of smoking were found among students whose self-reported grades were mostly Fs, those with severe stress, those whose families had “low affluence,” those who identified as transgender, and those who spoke English rather than another language at home.
“Commercial use of tobacco products continues to threaten the health of our nation’s youth, and disparities in tobacco product use among youth persist,” said Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, director of the CDC’s Office of smoking and health, in a statement Thursday.
The study indicates that although smoking among young Americans has declined over the past two decades, racial disparities exist. This may be because racial and ethnic minority communities are more exposed to tobacco promotion and advertising, among other factors, according to the study.