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Youth vaping, smoking & nicotine use

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New products and new challenges

Faced with declines in cigarette use – the youth smoking rate dropped from nearly 23% in 2000 to around 2% today – the commercial tobacco industry has expanded its product offerings to include flashy e-cigarettes and flavored nicotine products such as oral nicotine pouches, dramatically changing the product landscape and raising concerns about products that appeal to young people. Companies are also using synthetic nicotine – created in a laboratory and not derived from tobacco leaf – raising regulatory challenges and health concerns. Meanwhile, combustible cigarettes are still marketed aggressively with trillions consumed each year around the world.

See our work on emerging tobacco products
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Why youth nicotine use is an important issue

Youth nicotine use in any form is unsafe: nicotine is harmful to developing brains, and young users are more likely to become addicted and have more difficulty quitting. In addition, nicotine use may put young users at a higher risk for addiction to other substances in the future.

E-cigarette use among young people, many of whom were not smokers in the first place, remains a public health crisis. Over 2 million middle and high school students used e-cigarettes in 2023. While we endorse the important public health strategy of harm reduction and recognize that e-cigarettes may be beneficial to smokers who completely switch from combustible tobacco, many young people who use e-cigarettes started with non-combustible products and were not former cigarette smokers.

Learn about our national youth vaping prevention curriculum

Quitting smoking and vaping

The proliferation of new tobacco products threatens to reverse years of progress made toward ending nicotine addiction. Through our tools, resources, and public education and prevention effortstruth delivers the facts about smoking, vaping, and nicotine use, exposing the tactics of the tobacco industry to help young people make informed choices and influence their peers to do the same.

Explore our quit smoking and vaping tools
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Youth mental health and nicotine use

Two health crises among youth — a mental health crisis and a vaping public health crisis — pose increasing threats to a generation of young people. They are also linked in ways many may not realize, according to a body of peer-reviewed studies.

Mental health and nicotine resources

Our mission is to prevent youth and young adult nicotine addiction and empower quitting for all. This is how we're doing.

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Get the latest facts and analyses on the most important issues in commercial tobacco and substance use.

Explore our research and resources