Abstract: Tobacco product use is the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. This report used data from the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey to assess the following among U.S. high school students: ever use of cigarettes and electronic vapor products, current use (≥1 day during the 30 days before the survey) of tobacco products, frequent use (≥20 days during the 30 days before the survey) among current users of tobacco products, trends in use over time, and usual source of electronic vapor products among current electronic vapor product users. In 2019, a total of 50.1% of U.S. high school students had ever used electronic vapor products, and 24.1% had ever tried cigarette smoking. Current electronic vapor product use was 32.7%, current cigarette smoking was 6.0%, current cigar smoking was 5.7%, and current smokeless tobacco use was 3.8%. Approximately 36.5% of students were current users of any tobacco product, and 8.2% were current users of two or more tobacco products. Frequent use among users of individual products was 32.6% for electronic vapor products, 28.5% for smokeless tobacco, 22.2% for cigarettes, and 18.4% for cigars. Among current electronic vapor product users who were aged ≤17 years, the most commonly reported source was borrowing them from someone else (42.8%). Significant decreases occurred in current cigarette smoking (1991: 27.5%; 2019: 6.0%), cigar smoking (1997: 22.0%; 2019: 5.7%), and smokeless tobacco use (2017: 5.5%; 2019: 3.8%). However, significant increases occurred in current electronic vapor product use (2015: 24.1%; 2019: 32.7%) and any tobacco product use (2017: 19.5%; 2019: 36.5%). Although current cigarette smoking, cigar smoking, and smokeless tobacco use has decreased among high school students, the increased prevalence of electronic vapor product use among youths is concerning. Continued surveillance for all tobacco product use is warranted for guiding and evaluating public health policy at the local, state, tribal, and national levels.

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MeLisa R. Creamer, PhD; Sherry Everett Jones, PhD, JD; Andrea S. Gentzke, PhD; Ahmed Jamal, MBBS; Brian A. King, PhD – CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) – August 21, 2020.

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