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CDC: 24% of teens using e-cigarettes :

June 9, 2016

Teen cigarette smoking is on the decline, but health officials said Thursday they are concerned about the number using e-cigarettes.

Roughly 11% of teens were smoking cigarettes in 2015 down from 28% in 1991, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, 24% were using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes last year.

“Aside from being highly addictive there’s growing evidence to show nicotine might harm the developing brain and could also lead to sustained tobacco use over time,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., deputy director for research translation in the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “So the bottom line is that youth shouldn’t be using any form of tobacco product irrespective of whether it’s e-cigarettes, a combustible product like cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.”

The data released Thursday by the CDC came from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The surveys, which are conducted every two years, provide data from more than 15,000 teens across the country.

“In each topic, we are encouraged to see high school students are making some better choices but unfortunately in each are we are still facing some big challenges,” said Stephanie Zaza, M.D., M.P.H., FACPM, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health.

Tobacco was one of six categories included in the survey. Following are some of the 2015 data in the other five categories.


  • 41.5% of drivers had texted or e-mailed while driving in the last month, up from 41.4% in 2013
  • 15.5% had been electronically bullied in the last year, up from 14.8% in 2013 but down from 16.2% in 2011

Alcohol and drugs

  • 32.8% drank alcohol in the last month, down from 34.9% in 2013 and 50.8% in 1991
  • 17% had taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription during their life down, from 17.8% in 2013 and 20.7% in 2011


  • 6.7% had not eaten vegetables in the last week, up from 6.6% in 2013 and 4.2% in 1999
  • 20% drank soda one or more times a day, down from 27% in 2013 and 33.8% in 2007

Physical activity

  • 41.7% played video or computer games or used the computer for something not school related for more than 3 hours per day on an average school day, up from 41.3% in 2013 and 22.1% in 2003
  • 14.3% did not participate in physical activity for 60 minutes on at least one day in the last week, down from 15.2% in 2013 and 25% in 2005

Sexual behaviors

  • 41.2% had ever had sexual intercourse, down from 46.8% in 2013 and 54.1% in 1991
  • 56.9% of sexually active teens had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse, down from 59.1% in 2013 and up from 46.2% in 1991

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