*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
Although the number of teens who use e-cigarettes has dropped significantly, new research suggests that vaping rates are still too high.
For the study, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed more than 14,500 middle and high school students about their use of e-cigarettes.
In 2019, 27.5% of high school students and 10.5% of middle school students said they used e-cigarettes. In 2020, those numbers dropped to 20% of high school students and 5% of middle school students. The preferred brand of e-cigarettes was JUUL, which was used by 25% of high school vapers and 35% of middle school students.
Most users got their e-cigarettes from a friend (57% of high school students and 59% of middle school students), reported the researchers, who were led by Teresa Wang, from the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health.
Flavored e-cigarettes were preferred by far among both high school and middle school students (85% of high schoolers and 74% of middle schoolers). Fruit-flavored e-cigarettes were the most popular, followed by mint-flavored e-cigarettes. Also, many students switched to disposable and refillable e-cigarettes, the researchers noted.
“This study underscores that flavored e-cigarettes, especially Juul, have caused the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction in the U.S. and shows why the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] and other policymakers must act now to eliminate all flavored e-cigarettes,” said Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
To get around bans on e-cigarettes sold to kids, there was a dramatic shift to fruity-flavored disposable e-cigarettes, such as Puff Bar, and pre-filled menthol cartridge products, which were left on the market by loopholes in U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, he said.
“It’s alarming that over 7% of high school e-cigarette users wrote in Puff Bar as their usual brand, although it was not named in the survey,” Myers said.
The report was published online in the journal JAMA Network Open.