July 25, 2014

Youth & Tobacco > The Changing Landscape of Youth Tobacco Use

[excerpt from 2012 data collected by the CDC w/ The FDA. The survey questions themselves are not readily available.]

I won’t categorize this post under facts for the reason mentioned above. The questions being asked, the selection process for the respondents and the diversity level are not apparent.

Determining Trends in Youth Tobacco Use

In 2012, FDA and CDC introduced questions to the survey related to FDA’s regulatory authority, including more detailed information on:

Key Findings

In 2012:

Tobacco Use and Marketing

Nearly one in 15 U.S. middle school students (790,000) and one in four U.S. high school students (3,540,000) were current tobacco users.

The majority of middle and high school students who had used tobacco in the past 30 days (57.9 percent) reported using more than one product.

Youth continue to be exposed to tobacco promotions, including direct mail coupons. Tobacco marketing helps increase curiosity in tobacco products.


After cigarettes, cigars were the most widely used tobacco product among youth. Almost 40 percent of non-Hispanic black high school students (39.4 percent) reported ever having smoked cigars.

About one in five middle school and high school students who had never used tobacco products were curious about the use of cigars. Curiosity about tobacco products is a predictor of future susceptibility, experimentation, and regular use.


Nearly half of all middle and high school students (41.2 percent) reported being aware of hookah. Prevalence of ever (8.9% or 2.3 million students) and current hookah use (3.6% or 940,000) exceeded e-cigarette use.


Half of middle and high school students (13.1 million) were aware of e-cigarettes, 6.8 percent (1.8 million) had ever used e-cigarettes, and 2.1 percent (550,000) reported having used e-cigarettes in the past thirty days.

One in three students perceived e-cigarettes as being less harmful than conventional cigarettes and these students were more likely to have used e-cigarettes.

Tobacco Dependence

Symptoms of tobacco dependence can arise even among recent-onset and intermittent adolescent users. Among middle and high school cigarette, cigar, and smokeless tobacco users, more than half (52.2 percent) reported at least one symptom of tobacco dependence, representing 2.1 million students.

Those students who reported dependence symptoms were likely to:

be female

to have started using tobacco at an earlier age

to report use of more than one type of tobacco product, and

to use tobacco at a higher frequency.

Quitting Intention and Behavior

Over half (52.8 percent) of middle and high school students who reported having used tobacco in the past 30 days were seriously thinking about quitting the use of all tobacco products—and a similar proportion (51.5 percent) reported failing to quit after having tried during the last year.

Exposure to Warning Labels

Today’s health warnings on cigarettes and smokeless products are not noticed by middle and high school students.

via Youth & Tobacco > The Changing Landscape of Youth Tobacco Use.

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