The latest about kids and tobacco usage is mix of both good and bad news. The good news is that the number of kids smoking cigarettes is down; the bad part is that the number of kids smoking other tobacco products is way up.
According to a report published by the US National Youth Tobacco Survey, co-conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the survey provides a snapshot of tobacco use and the products preferred by middle and high school students in the US in 2014.
Other key insights from the survey were:
Between 2011 and 2014, the percentage of students reporting current use of cigarettes decreased from 15.8 percent to 9.2 percent.
In 2014, one in four high school students and one in 13 middle school students reported being tobacco users (using one or more tobacco products in the previous 30 days).
Between 2011 and 2014, hookah use among high school students doubled and e-cigarette use increased even more dramatically.
Of the then-current 4.6 million youth tobacco users, 2.4 million reported using e-cigarettes and nearly 2.2 million students reported using two or more tobacco products.
Nicotine is dangerous and highly addictive for kids at any age, whether it comes from an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette or cigar. Because the brain is still developing, adolescence appears to be a particularly vulnerable time. Research has clearly demonstrated that exposure to nicotine at a young age increases the chance that kids will become addicted. In addition to nicotine exposure, tobacco use can be harmful due to the numerous other chemicals present in tobacco products that can cause disease.