TO THE EDITOR: Previous increases in the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) by youth were driven by multiple factors, including advertising, the use of appealing flavors, and the introduction of new devices with prefilled pods or cartridges and high nicotine levels, such as Juul.
According to data from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), 19.6% of high school students (3.02 million) and 4.7% of middle school students (550,000) reported current (within the preceding 30 days) e-cigarette use in 2020 — 1.8 million fewer than in 2019.
However, e-cigarette use among youth remains prominent and the landscape of devices is evolving, both of which pose a public health challenge. We assessed the changes in device type–specific e-cigarette use during 2019 and 2020.
The NYTS is a cross-sectional, school-based electronic survey that uses a stratified, three-stage, cluster-sampling design (across counties, schools, and classrooms) to generate a nationally representative sample of U.S. middle school students (grades 6 through 8) and high school students (grades 9 through 12).
Data collection for the 2019 NYTS took place from February 15 through May 24, 2019, among 19,018 respondents (overall response rate, 66.3%). Data collection for the 2020 NYTS took place from January 16 through March 16, 2020, among 14,531 respondents (overall response rate, 43.6%). Weighted estimates of device type–specific use were assessed among current e-cigarette users and students overall according to school level.
Teresa W. Wang, Ph.D. et al. – New England Journal of Medicine – March 16, 2021.