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New data show historically low smoking rates

New data reveal historic lows of smoking among teens and declines in vaping—evidence of the impact of public education campaigns like truth®, “The Real Cost” and Tips From Former Smokers™.

The 2016 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a drop in overall teen cigarette use and e-cigarette use last year. Here are some highlights from the report.

The latest tobacco data show:

  • Past 30-day cigarette use by high school students is at 8 percent, a decline of 1.3 percentage points since 2015.
  • E-cigarette use among high school students dropped to 11.3 percent in 2016, compared to 16 percent in 2015—the first drop since the CDC started tracking data in 2011.
  • Despite these declines, still more than 20 percent of high school students use any tobacco product.

Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative®, said that although the number of high school students who use e-cigarettes and the total tobacco product use for high school students is still too high, the data is “another battle won for public health in the long effort to end the epidemic that still kills 540,000 people a year in our country.”

“Numbers have finally turned in the right direction,” Koval said in an interview with MarketWatch. “[The decline in youth e-cigarette use] shows a lot of kids were trying them and experimenting, but now that the novelty has worn off, they don’t find them satisfying and we are seeing the trend move in the other direction. The Food and Drug Administration has to do its job and make sure these products are regulated to continue this progress.”