In 2018, 4.04 million high school students and 840,000 middle school students currently used any tobacco product; e-cigarettes were the most commonly used product. Driven by an increase in e-cigarette use, current tobacco product use significantly increased among high school and middle school students during 2017–2018, erasing the decline in tobacco product use among youths that occurred in previous years.
Methods: CDC, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Cancer Institute analyzed data from the 2011–2018 National Youth Tobacco Surveys to estimate tobacco product use among U.S. middle and high school students. Prevalence estimates of current (past 30-day) use of seven tobacco products were assessed; differences over time were analyzed using multivariable regression (2011–2018) or t-test (2017–2018).
Results: In 2018, current use of any tobacco product was reported by 27.1% of high school students (4.04 million) and 7.2% of middle school students (840,000); electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were the most commonly used product among high school (20.8%; 3.05 million) and middle school (4.9%; 570,000) students. Use of any tobacco product overall did not change significantly during 2011–2018 among either school level. During 2017–2018, current use of any tobacco product increased 38.3% (from 19.6% to 27.1%) among high school students and 28.6% (from 5.6% to 7.2%) among middle school students; e-cigarette use increased 77.8% (from 11.7% to 20.8%) among high school students and 48.5% (from 3.3% to 4.9%) among middle school students.