Even with many middle and high school students at home because of the pandemic, the survey found, they found ways to get their hands on and use e-cigarettes and other vape devices.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey high school and high school students each year for the National Youth Tobacco Survey. Due to the pandemic, this year’s results cannot be compared with previous years.
About 2.06 million young people are estimated to be current e-cigarette users by 2021. The use of tobacco products by young people in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine and exposure to nicotine during adolescence, the brain can develop,” the FDA and CDC said in their report, published in the CDC’s weekly MMWR report.
“Particularly when many students found themselves in a remote learning environment that could have affected their access to tobacco products, an estimated 11.3% (1.72 million) of high school students and an estimated 2.8% (320,000) reported of high school students use current e-cigarettes,” the FDA and CDC said in a joint statement.
About 85% of the students said they used flavored vapes, especially fruit, candy, mint and menthol. Anti-tobacco groups have urged the FDA to ban all flavored vape products.
Among high school students who currently used e-cigarettes, 26.1% reported their usual brand was Puff Bar, followed by Vuse (10.8%), SMOK (9.6%), JUUL (5.7%) and Suorin (2.3%),” the FDA and CDC said.
“This data highlights the fact that flavored e-cigarettes are still hugely popular with kids. And we’re equally alarmed by the quarter of high school students who use e-cigarettes and say they vape every day,” Mitch Zeller, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, the statement said.
“Notably, the survey finds that e-cigarette use is higher among high school students who completed the survey at school compared to those who participated at home or elsewhere (15% to 8.1%). raising concerns that the rates would be much higher if the survey were conducted entirely in schools as in previous years,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, said in a statement.
“If children go back to school, we run the real risk of a resurgence of the youth e-cigarette epidemic unless the FDA quickly eliminates all flavored e-cigarettes. With 85% of youth e-cigarette users using flavors, they remain put our children at risk as long as flavored products remain on the market.”
The agencies noted that Puff Bar branded vapes are made with synthetic nicotine, perhaps in an attempt to circumvent the FDA’s mandate to regulate tobacco products.
“The FDA is aware of a number of companies, such as Puff Bar, who claim that their products contain only synthetic nicotine that is not derived from tobacco, which could cause separate regulatory and legal issues that the agency is considering how best to use. addressed,” the agency said.
“The number one brand used by young people, Puff Bar, is not only available in a wide variety of flavors, but has recently indicated that it will now be manufactured with synthetic nicotine in a brazen effort to challenge FDA oversight. thwart the truth,” Robin Koval, CEO of the Truth Initiative, said in a statement.
CNN has reached out to Puff Bar for comment.
The data showing that more than 43% of college students who use e-cigarettes do so on an almost daily basis “underscore the pitfall of nicotine addiction and the risk that, once addicted, many young people will lose these and potentially even more dangerous tobacco products.” will use for a long time,” added Koval, whose organization grew out of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between the major tobacco companies, 46 US states, territories and Washington, DC.
“This is especially troubling given the youth mental health crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, and the fact that nicotine can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression in addition to the physical health risks associated with its use.”
The FDA has delayed making a decision to regulate many vape products. E-cigarette products have been allowed to remain on the market for years, even though none of them have been officially green-lighted by the FDA. Manufacturers were given until September 9 last year to apply for permission from the agency to remain on the market.
Earlier this month, the FDA said it had rejected pre-market applications of more than 6 million electronic nicotine delivery systems, or ENDS products, but made no statement about major players like Juul.
E-cigarettes were not subject to FDA regulation until 2016. Then they were in regulation until July 2019, when a federal court gave companies until May 2020 to file with the FDA for premarket review.
The FDA is still reviewing some of those applications.
“This study once again demonstrates the urgent need for federal action to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic,” Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a statement.
“Flavored tobacco products of all kinds, including those flavored with menthol, enable the tobacco industry to entice and hook a new generation of users for their deadly products — no less, a generation that was on track to become the first tobacco-free generation, Lacasse added.
“We’ve known about this danger for years and still the FDA continues to delay taking final action — despite a court-imposed deadline — against some of the biggest brands and manufacturers of these products.”
“The FDA’s continued delays and inadequate action to evaluate products with significant market share and to enforce its denials to date leave the door open to further addiction to products containing nicotine, which have been proven to harm brain development in children.”
Myers praised the FDA for refusing marketing applications for a million flavored e-cigarette products.
“However, the agency has yet to make decisions about e-cigarette brands that have the largest market shares or are the most popular with children, such as Juul, Vuse, NJOY, blu, SMOK and Suorin,” Myers said.
And the FDA is still considering allowing the sale of menthol-flavored e-cigarettes. Today’s research findings show why the FDA should not allow the sale of ANY flavored e-cigarette, given the overwhelming evidence that flavored products, including menthol, attracting children.”
This story was updated to correct an error in Robin Koval’s statement of the Truth Initiative.