New Youth Tobacco Data Highlights Critical Need for Continued CDC Tobacco Prevention and Control Funding

June 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released data from its National Youth Tobacco Survey today that found tobacco use among youth in grades 6-12 has decreased in recent years. In 2016, 3.9 million middle school and high school students used tobacco products, down from 4.7 million students in 2015. The data also showed youth electronic cigarette use declined from 5.3 per percent to 4.3 percent for middle school students and from 16 percent to 11.3 percent for high school students. This is the first decline in e-cigarette use since 2011, yet the devices remain the most commonly used tobacco product among this age group.

A statement about the survey results from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows:

“It’s great news to see a decrease in both conventional and electronic cigarette use among our nation’s youth. This progress demonstrates the critical importance of the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), which leads federal efforts to reduce tobacco-related death and disease, including essential youth prevention programs.

“While the data is promising, it remains that nearly 4 million youth used at least one tobacco product last year. Proposals in Congress to eliminate OSH and its cost-effective public health programs, including state prevention programs, tobacco quit lines and the Tips from Former Smokers media campaign, could jeopardize future progress reducing tobacco’s burden.

“We urge lawmakers to maintain current funding for OSH in their FY 18 budget deliberations. OSH’s work is critical to reducing smoking rates, saving lives from tobacco use, and ending our nation’s tobacco epidemic.”

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