May 6, 2015

CDC Reports Spike in Teen Use of E-Cigarettes and Hookahs

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014,” increasing from approximately 660,000 to 2 million students.  The CDC based this finding on data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, which it characterizes as a nationally representative school based, self-administered survey given to 22,000 middle and high school students.

Specifically, e-cigarette use (i.e., once a day use for the past 30 days) among (1) high school students increased from 4.5% to 13.4% and (2) middle school students increased from 1.1% to 3.9%. E-cigarettes were the nicotine products most commonly used by teenagers and adolescents in 2014.

The survey results also indicated that hookah use among that population approximately doubled during the same period (i.e., from 5.2% to 9.4% among high school students and from 1.1% to 2.5% among middle school students.)

In the press release on the findings, CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., noted “[N]icotine is dangerous for kids at any age, whether it’s an e-cigarette, hookah, cigarette, or cigar…exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.”