Tobacco Products

Youth Tobacco Use: Results from the National Youth Tobacco Survey

We are committed to a science-based approach that addresses the public health issues associated with tobacco use. That's why we collaborate with CDC on the only nationally representative survey of middle and high school students that focuses exclusively on tobacco use—the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS). NYTS was designed to provide national data on long-term, intermediate, and short-term indicators key to the design, implementation, and evaluation of comprehensive tobacco prevention and control programs.

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Understanding Why Middle and High School Students Use E-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) were the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. middle school and high school students for the fourth year in a row in 2017.

Earlier this year, CDC and FDA analyzed data from NYTS 2016 to assess the reasons youth use e-cigarettes. Among youth who had ever used an e-cigarette, the most commonly selected reasons for use were:

  • Use by “friend or family member” (39.0%)
  • Availability of “flavors such as mint, candy, fruit, or chocolate” (31.0%)
  • The belief that “they are less harmful than other forms of tobacco such as cigarettes” (17.1%)

The least commonly selected reasons were:

  • “They are easier to get than other tobacco products such as cigarettes” (4.8%)
  • “They cost less than other tobacco products such as cigarettes” (3.2%)
  • “Famous people on TV or in movies use them” (1.5%)

Data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey provides insight into youth use patterns and informs FDA’s regulatory strategies to prevent and reduce tobacco product use. 

Page Last Updated: 06/07/2018
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