“It’s encouraging to see this substantial decline in e-cigarette use among high schoolers within the past year, which is a win for public health,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “But we can’t rest on our laurels. There’s more work to be done to build on this progress.”
Although there was a decline in e-cigarette use among high school students, there was an increase in current total tobacco product use (4.5% to 6.6%) and multiple tobacco product use (1.5% to 2.5%) among middle school children. However, no substantial change in current usage of any specific tobacco product type, including e-cigarettes, was detected among middle school students overall during 2022-2023.
For the tenth year in a row, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among both high school and middle school pupils. Approximately one-quarter of kids who indicated current e-cigarette use said they used them every day. The most common product type utilized by youth who reported e-cigarette use was disposable e-cigarettes. The most popular brands, however, contained both disposable and cartridge-based solutions. The most commonly reported brands among current young e-cigarette users were Elf Bar (56.7%), Esco Bars (21.6%), Vuse (20.7%), JUUL (16.5%), and Mr. Fog (13.6%).
Nearly all (89.4%) of teenagers who indicated current e-cigarette usage used flavored products, with fruit, candy, mint, and menthol being the most popular flavors. For the first time in NYTS history, the 2023 questionnaire inquired about the use of flavors with the words “ice” or “iced” in their titles, as well as other concept flavor names (i.e., names that imply flavor but do not specify any particular flavor, such as “island bash”). Accounting for these products provides a more complete picture of flavored tobacco product usage among children, with the findings implying that flavored tobacco product use among youth may be higher than previously thought.
US FDA Raises Concern Over Tobacco Use Among School STudents
“The FDA remains concerned about youth tobacco product use, and we cannot and will not let our guard down on this issue,” King said. “The agency has an array of enforcement tools at our disposal, and we’re committed to using them as appropriate. We will not stand by as bad actors place profit over the health of our nation’s youth.”
US FDA Resolves to Take Action Against Unlawful E-Cigarette Manufacturing and Sale
The FDA is announcing a fresh wave of enforcement proceedings targeting unlawful e-cigarettes with the juvenile appeal, following the filing of 22 civil money penalty (CMP) actions in September for the greatest amounts sought to date. According to the 2023 NYTS, the agency is pursuing CMPs for comparable amounts against 20 other stores for the sale of unlicensed Elf Bar items. The FDA previously warned each of these 20 merchants to stop selling unlawful tobacco products in a letter. The FDA discovered that the stores had not stopped selling the unlawful items after follow-up inspections, resulting in the CMP actions. The FDA imposed civil monetary penalties against more than a dozen merchants in September for selling unlawful Elf Bar/EB Design e-cigarettes and issued hundreds of warning letters to retailers for selling the same items.
Today’s actions are yet another step in the agency’s ongoing campaign against unlawful e-cigarette makers, distributors, importers, and retailers. The FDA has issued more than 135 warning letters to producers and distributors of unlicensed e-cigarettes in the last year, including multiple Elf Bar distributors (Easy Wholesale, LLC, EC Supply, Inc., and Safa Goods, LLC).
The FDA has also conducted a series of nationwide retailer inspections, issued over 400 warning letters to retailers for selling unauthorized e-cigarettes, issued import alerts for the detention without physical examination of unauthorized e-cigarettes offered for entry into the U.S. marketplace, filed civil money penalty actions against manufacturers of unauthorized e-cigarettes for the largest amounts sought to date, and filed the first injunctions against manufacturers.
Tobacco use by minors in any form, including e-cigarettes, is dangerous. The FDA’s top focus continues to be keeping tobacco products out of the hands of children. The FDA’s ongoing efforts, including the enforcement actions announced today, represent significant progress toward that aim.
The FDA, a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, safeguards public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency is also in charge of the safety and security of our country’s food supply, cosmetics, nutritional supplements, devices that emit electronic radiation, and tobacco product regulation.
- Tobacco Product Use Among U.S. Middle and High School Students National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2023
Birdsey J, Cornelius M, Jamal A, et al. Tobacco Product Use Among U.S. Middle and High School Students National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2023. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2023;72:1173-1182. DOI: http:dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7244a1
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