Recent data from the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey reveals a significant drop in e-cigarette usage among U.S. high school students. The findings indicate a decrease from 14.1% to 10% between 2022 and 2023, equating to approximately 580,000 fewer high school students using e-cigarettes. The decline aligns with intensified efforts by federal health regulators to combat companies selling illegal vape products that specifically appeal to young people.
This positive trend extends to overall tobacco smoking among high school students, reaching an all-time low. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a substantial reduction in current tobacco product use by an estimated 540,000 students, dropping to 1.97 million in 2023 from 2.51 million in 2022.
Brian King, the director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, expressed optimism about the decline in e-cigarette use, emphasizing the public health victory. However, he acknowledged the need for continued vigilance, particularly as newer vaping devices flood the market from overseas, bypassing existing tobacco regulations. Notably, Elf Bar, a Chinese brand banned by the FDA, remains on shelves, highlighting challenges in enforcement.
The report underscores that despite the progress, youth tobacco product use remains a concern. King emphasized the FDA’s commitment to employing enforcement tools to address the issue, stating that the agency will not let its guard down against those prioritizing profit over the health of the nation’s youth. In the past year, the FDA has issued numerous warning letters to unauthorized e-cigarette manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, including those associated with Elf Bar.
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