“A substantial proportion of youth tobacco use occurs with products other than cigarettes, so monitoring and prevention of youth tobacco use needs to incorporate other products, including new and emerging products,” according to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Analysis of data from the 2012 National Youth Tobacco Survey found that the prevalence of current tobacco product use was 6.7% among middle school students and 23.3% among high school students. Current use was defined as using the tobacco product on 1 or more of the last 30 days. The survey sample size was 24,685 students.
While cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product, followed by cigars, “from 2011 to 2012, electronic cigarette use increased significantly among middle school (0.6% to 1.1%) and high school (1.5% to 2.8%) students, and hookah use increased among high school students (4.1% to 5.4%),” the authors reported.
“The increase in use of electronic cigarettes and hookah tobacco could be attributed to low price, an increase in marketing, availability, and visibility of these products, and the perception that these tobacco products might be ‘safer’ alternatives to cigarettes,” an editorial note speculated. Cigars, electronic cigarettes (or e-cigarettes), hookah tobacco, and some other new types of tobacco products are not currently subject to regulation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation. “FDA has stated it intends to issue a proposed rule that would deem products meeting the statutory definition of a ‘tobacco product’ to be subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act,” according to the editorial note.
(For more information on electronic or e-cigarettes, see “What You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes,” The ASCO Post, October 15, 2013.) ■