CDC: One-fifth of high-schoolers smoke or use another form of tobacco. Can we do better?

The CDC released a new study on smoking rates and teens, including new cigarettes. (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its new study on the rates of tobacco use among high-schoolers and middle-schoolers Thursday.

And while it can celebrate that rates of kids using tobacco products including e-cigarettes are falling, it still finds that 20.2 percent of high-schoolers and 7.2 percent of middle-schoolers were currently using some tobacco product. The number of high-schoolers and middle-schoolers using a tobacco product in the last 30 days did fall from 4.7 million in 2015 to 3.9 million in 2016.

E-cigarettes were the most commonly used product and while the use of other tobacco products decreased in the 2011-2016 years, the increase rates of e-cigarettes and hookah kept rates high.

The 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey appeared in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The Food and Drug Administration did start enforcing new federal regulations last August that made it illegal to sell e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco and pipe tobacco to anyone younger than 18 in person and online.

The CDC also continued regulation of manufacturing, distribution and marketing of tobacco products as well as funding tobacco control programs, increasing the prices of tobacco products, reducing exposure to second-hand smoke, and funding sustained media campaigns warning about the dangers of tobacco products.

There is a movement to increase the age of when tobacco is legal for use from 18 to 21. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new study today about attitudes supportive of the Tobacco 21 initiative. 

Of the 11-year-olds to 18-year-olds surveyed, 63.9 percent said they would be supportive of the initiative.

 

 


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