Nov. 14, 2022 — More than 3 million middle and high school students reported using tobacco products in the past 30 days, the CDC reports.
That is 11.3% of the students surveyed. Overall, 16.5% of high school students and 4.5% of middle school students reported current use of tobacco, according to the CDC in its report Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report.
The most commonly used products were e-cigarettes, followed by cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, nicotine pouches, heated tobacco products and pipe tobacco. Results are from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey conducted January 18, 2022 to May 31, 2022.
“Commercial use of tobacco products continues to threaten the health of our nation’s youth, and disparities in tobacco product use among youth remain,” said Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, director of the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health, in a statement. “By addressing the factors that lead to tobacco use among youth and helping youth quit, we can give our nation’s young people the best opportunity to lead their healthiest lives.”
By group, 12.3% of female students have used tobacco products in the past 30 days; 10.3% of men; 13.5% non-Hispanic American Indians or Alaska Natives; 12.4% of whites; 11.5% of blacks; 11.1% Hispanic or Latino; and 3.1% of Asian students.
Tobacco use was reported by 16% who identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual; 16.6% who identified as transgender; 18.3% reporting severe psychological distress; 12.5% with low family wealth; and 27.2% who said they mostly get F grades.
Favors, marketing and misperceptions of harm are important factors contributing to adolescent tobacco use. Most youth who use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, want to quit, the CDC said.
“Tobacco use by young people – in any form – is unsafe,” the report states. “Such products contain nicotine, which is highly addictive and can damage the developing adolescent brain. Nicotine use during adolescence could also increase the risk of future addiction to other drugs.”
According to the report, the ability to compare the 2022 survey results to previous years is “limited” due to differences in data collection practices.