Nationwide–Tobacco product use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Preventing tobacco product use among youths is critical to decreasing morbidity and mortality because nearly all tobacco product use begins during youth or young adulthood; approximately nine in 10 adult cigarette smokers start before age 18 years. In recent years, tobacco products have evolved to include various smoked, smokeless, and electronic products.
The National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), conducted annually since 2011, provides national data on estimates of tobacco product use to support comprehensive youth tobacco prevention. The 2019 questionnaire contained 104 questions covering demographic information, tobacco product use, knowledge and attitudes about tobacco products
In 2019, 40.5% of U.S. middle and high school students (10.9 million) reported having ever tried a tobacco product. Among ever tobacco product users, 58.5% had ever tried a combustible tobacco product and 53.8% had ever tried two or more tobacco product types. Overall, 53.3% of high school students (8.0 million) and 24.3% of middle school students (2.9 million) reported ever using any tobacco product. E-cigarettes were the most commonly ever used tobacco product among U.S middle and high school students overall (35.0%; 9.4 million). Overall, 23.0% of middle and high school students (6.2 million) reported current (past 30-day) use of any tobacco product
In 2019, 69.6% (4.3 million) of middle and high school students who currently used tobacco products reported using at least one flavored tobacco product. E-cigarettes were the most commonly used flavored tobacco product (68.8% of current e-cigarette users; 3.7 million).
Among middle and high school students who ever tried using e-cigarettes, the most common reasons for e-cigarette use were “I was curious about them” (55.3%), “friend or family member used them” (30.8%), “they are available in flavors, such as mint, candy, fruit or chocolate” (22.4%), and “I can use them to do tricks” (21.2%) “I was curious about them” was the most commonly reported reason among current exclusive e-cigarette users (56.1%) and students who currently used both e-cigarettes and at least one other tobacco product (38.4%).