Double jeopardy as teen vaping on the rise amid COVID-19 pandemic

USA – An estimated 2 million middle school and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2021, with 85% using flavored options, according to an FDA/CDC study.

The study looked at current, (i.e., in the last 30 days) e-cigarette use, frequency of use, and use by device type, flavors, and usual brand.

This NYTS, which ran from January 18 to May 21, 2021, was the first to be fully implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was an online survey that was used to collect data, allowing eligible students in USA to participate in the classroom, at home, or in another location to account for various school settings during this time.

The online survey was given to 20,413 students in grades 6 through 12, and findings were published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, based on data from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), a cross-sectional, self-administered survey.

Other survey results revealed that: Among recent e-cigarette users, 53.7 percent reported using disposable e-cigarettes, making them the most popular device type; 78.7 percent of disposable e-cigarette users used fruit-flavored devices, making it the most popular flavor.

Additionally, 26.1 percent of current high school e-cigarette users and 30.3 percent of current middle school e-cigarette users said their “usual brand” was Puff Bar, making it the most popular brand.

Furthermore, 27.6 percent of high school students and 8.3 percent of middle school students who reported using e-cigarettes in the previous 30 days said they did so on a daily basis.

Last year’s National Youth Tobacco Survey indicated that about 3.6 million middle school and high school students said that they used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days, and more than 80% of these users reported flavored e-cigarette use, Eunice Park-Lee, of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products and colleagues wrote in MMWR.

Prior to the pandemic, the survey was carried out in person, within a school classroom. However, the results of the 2021 NYTS cannot be compared to previous surveys due to changes in the way the survey was conducted this year.

Regardless, the “data highlight the fact that flavored e-cigarettes are still extremely popular with kids,” Mitch Zeller, JD, the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a press release.

It’s critical we continue working together to protect young people from the risks associated with tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes,” Karen Hacker, the director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotions said.

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