1.7 Million High Schoolers Vaped in 2016, As Both Vaping and Smoking Declined
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) shows that 1.08 million (7.2%) American high school students used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days, 580,000 (3.9%) smoked, and 660,000 (4.4%) used both products.
Compared with 2015, smoking declined by about 14% and vaping by 28%.
The apparent spike in e-cigarette use from 2013 to 2014 was partially due to what scientific researchers refer to as an artifact, as it stemmed from a change in the survey design. Questions about e-cigarette use were bundled with those for other rarely used tobacco products until 2014, when they appeared in a separate section.
The NYTS also collected information on how many days e-cigarettes were used in the past month. The chart below shows that 7 out of 10 students who vaped but did not smoke used e-cigarettes five days or fewer. This is basically “party” or “weekend” vaping, rather than regular use. While half of high school students who vaped and smoked used e-cigs five or fewer days, 22% used them all 30 days.
Last June, the CDC published selected information from the 2016 NYTS (here), listing smoking and vaping rates separately, effectively double-counting the 660,000 high-schoolers who vaped and smoked. The CDC only released the full NYTS data set earlier this month (here).
The federal data confirm that e-cigarette experimentation by youth since 2011 has not produced an epidemic of smoking. In fact, the decline in youth smoking accelerated to a record low rate.
Original author: Brad Rodu
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