Vaping drops dramatically among teenagers

Disposable vaping products still have a large appeal to teens. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

E-cigarette use among middle and high schoolers dropped significantly since last year, with 1.8 million fewer teens vaping, a federal report released Wednesday shows.

Why it matters: The survey, conducted between mid-January and mid-March, highlights the effects of last year’s outbreak of vaping-related illnesses and deaths.

  • In 2019, reports were confirmed of more than 2,600 hospital cases and nearly 60 deaths most likely associated with illicit THC-infused vaping products.

Yes, but: There is still a significant appeal for teens to smoke flavored tobacco products, which are now illegal to purchase in cartridge form.

  • Small vaping devices like those from Juul Labs are also still popular.
  • 26.5% of high schoolers used disposable e-cigarettes in 2020 (up from 2.4% in 2019) and 15.2% middle schoolers (up from 3% in 2019).

By the numbers: About 20% of high school students and 5% of middle school students said they recently used e-cigarettes and other vaping products, a large decrease from last year which revealed 28% of high school students and 11% of middle school students used those products.

The big picture: The Food and Drug Administration attempted to curb youth vaping this year by barring flavored tobacco products in small vaping devices that have a youth following.

  • Federal law has since increased the age to purchase tobacco products and e-cigarettes to 21 and older.

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