According to the results of a survey published a few days ago, the use of electronic cigarettes among young Americans has dropped for the first time in 6 years. This lead to a significant decrease in overall tobacco consumption among middle and high school students. Indeed, vaping products are considered as tobacco in the US.
The number of students from grade 6 to 12 using electronic cigarettes has decreased from 3 million in 2015 to 2.2 million in 2016, according to a CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) and FDA (Food & Drugs Administration) survey. This decrease has automatically led to a decrease of global tobacco use. Tobacco use for this age group decreased from 4.7 million in 2015 to 3.9 million people in 2016.
This is a very significant change. Indeed, the use of electronic cigarettes among young people has steadily increased over the 2011-2015 period.
Robin Koval, President and CEO of Truth Initiative, an organisation fighting for tobacco control has commented those figures. For her, this decrease mainly came from youth-targeted education campaigns led by her anti-smoking advocacy group and others over the last few years. These campaigns also included “The Real Cost” campaign of the FDA.
“Seeing this change in the data trend on e-cigarettes is a big deal,” she said.
Despite all that, electronic cigarettes have remained for the 3d consecutive year the most consumed tobacco product among young people. They are used by 11.3% of high schoolers and 4.3% of middle schoolers.
Nancy Rigotti is the director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. She said that “For smokers trying to quit, it can be a great public health benefit”. “We think there might be a product that will help smokers quit and save their lives.”
Efforts must be pursued
CDC and FDA officials have underlined the need to remain vigilant and to continue developing preventive and public health measures.
“While these latest numbers are encouraging, it is critical that we work to ensure this downward trend continues over the long term across all tobacco products,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb