The public news tempered that the teenagers were taking advantage of a regular loophole to get access to flavored products.
Usage of E-cigarettes Falls Sharply Among Teenagers-C.D.C, These days the number of high school students regularly using e-cigarettes, But the data suggested that even greater progress may have been stymied by the growing popularity of a new product — disposable e-cigarettes, which, under a loophole in federal regulations, are still allowed to be sold in youth-friendly flavors.
These trends were captured by the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, an annual look at teen use of tobacco-related products, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year’s data collection was less thorough than in years past because the coronavirus pandemic interrupted the full survey cycle.
Among high school students, the public news states that 19.6 percent reported using an e-cigarette at least once in the prior 30 days, down sharply from 27.5 percent in 2019. That amounted to a decline of 1 million regular users — to 3 million, down from 4.1 million a year earlier. Self-reported use of e-cigarettes also decreased among middle school students, to 550,000 users from 1.24 million.
Public health experts illuminate that the risks of e-cigarettes, combined with a real-world lesson in those risks: At least 68 people died and 2,807 had been hospitalized as of February of this year from a lung-related disease linked to vaping.
In 2020, 26.5 percent of regular high school e-cigarette users said they had used disposable products over the last 30 days, compared to 2.4 percent a year earlier. Notably, eight in 10 youth users said they were vaping “fruit and mint-flavored e-cigarettes,” according to the C.D.C. according to the C.D.C.
In a statement, the C.D.C. director, Robert R. Red Field, called the decline a “notable public health achievement.” But, he cautioned: “Youth e-cigarette use remains an epidemic.”
“The decline is good news, but it is really a historic opportunity missed,” said Matthew Myers, the president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. He said more significant changes could have happened “if they had banned all flavored products. The fact that they didn’t mean kids just moved and didn’t quit.”