CDC Report: Tobacco use down in young people in 2020


A report out Thursday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that tobacco use in middle and high school students declined between 2019 and 2020.

In collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) found that while nearly 4.5 million students (1 out of 6) used some type of tobacco product in 2020, usage amongst young people had dropped.

The study found that nearly 1 in 4 high school students – 3.65 million – currently used tobacco in some form, down about 25 percent from the 1 in 3 students in 2019. For middle school students, about 1 in 15 currently used tobacco, down nearly 50 percent from 1 in 8 in 2019.

Decreases amongst both middle and high school students occurred in the use of any combustible tobacco product, the use of two or more tobacco products, e-cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco. However, the survey saw no change in the use of cigarettes, heated tobacco products, hookah, or pipe tobacco.

E-cigarettes continue to be the most commonly used tobacco product amongst both middle and high school students. And, the study found, many young people use multiple tobacco products. About 1 in 3 high school students and 2 in 5 middle school students reported using two or more tobacco products in 2020.

“The decline in tobacco product use over the past year is a win for public health,” CDC Director Robert R. Redfield said. “Yet, our work is far from done. Nearly 4.5 million U.S. youths still use tobacco products, putting a new generation at risk for nicotine addiction and other health risks.”