Characteristics of Electronic Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2015

December 30, 2016 / Vol. 65 / No. 50 & 51

MMWR Introduction

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) to examine the characteristics of e-cigarette use among US middle (grades 6–8) and high (grades 9–12) school students in 2015, including types of products used, brands of products used, and whether substances other than nicotine were used with the products. Among respondents reporting ever having used an e-cigarette, 14.5% used only disposable e-cigarettes, 53.4% used only rechargeable or refillable e-cigarettes, and 32.1% used both types. Two of the most commonly used e-cigarette brands were blu (26.4%, 1.65 million youths) and VUSE (12.2%, 760,000 youths); half of students (50.7%, 3.18 million) did not know the brand of e-cigarette they used. One third (32.5%) of those who reported ever using an e-cigarette also reported having used e-cigarettes for substances other than nicotine.

Tobacco use and addiction typically begin during adolescence, and the US Surgeon General has concluded that the use of products containing nicotine in any form among youth, including in e-cigarettes, is unsafe. Preventing youths from beginning use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is critical to tobacco use prevention and control strategies in the United States. Monitoring the characteristics of e-cigarette use among youths, including product types, brands, and ingredients, is important to inform strategies to prevent and reduce e-cigarette use among youths.

MMWR Highlights

Percentages of ever e-cigarette users who have used various types of e-cigarettes, by sex.

  • 13.7% of males and 15.4% of females have used only disposable types of e-cigarettes.
  • 52.2% of males and 54.8% of females have used only rechargeable or refillable types of e-cigarettes.
  • 34.0% of males and 29.8% of females have used both disposable and rechargeable or refillable types of e-cigarettes.

Percentages of ever e-cigarette users who have used various brands of e-cigarettes, by sex.

  • 28.1% of males and 24.2% of females have used blu brand e-cigarettes.
  • 13.5% of males and 10.7% of females have used VUSE brand e-cigarettes.
  • 16.2% of males and 13.4% of females have used NJOY, MarkTen, Logic, Finiti, Starbuzz, or Fantasia brand of e-cigarettes.
  • 29.5% of males and 18.1% of females have used some other brand of e-cigarette.
  • 44.4% of males and 58.1% of females did not know the brand name of the e-cigarette they used.

Percentages of ever e-cigarette users who have used e-cigarettes for a substance other than nicotine, by sex.

  • 36.9% of males and 27.2% of females have ever used e-cigarettes for a substance other than nicotine.
  • 63.1% of males and 72.8% of females have never used e-cigarettes for a substance other than nicotine.

Percentages of ever e-cigarette users who have used various types of e-cigarettes, by race-ethnicity.

  • 11.3% of whites, 24.1% of blacks, 18.3% of Hispanics, and 12.6% of others have used only disposable types of e-cigarettes.
  • 54.2% of whites, 57.6% of blacks, 49.1% of Hispanics, and 59.6% of others have used only rechargeable/refillable types of e-cigarettes.
  • 34.5% of whites, 18.3% of blacks, 32.6% of Hispanics, and 27.9% of others have used both disposable and rechargeable/refillable types of e-cigarettes.

Percentages of ever e-cigarette users who have used various brands of e-cigarettes, by race-ethnicity.

  • 25.7% of whites, 35.4% of blacks, 25.3% of Hispanics, and 22.5% of others have used blu brand e-cigarettes.
  • 12.2% of whites, 11.9% of blacks, 12.5% of Hispanics, and 11.2%of others have used VUSE brand e-cigarettes.
  • 14.4% of whites, 11.4% of blacks, 17.4% of Hispanics, and 14.4% of others have used NJOY, MarkTen, Logic, Finiti, Starbuzz, or Fantasia brand of e-cigarettes.
  • 25.8% of whites, 17.2% of blacks, 21.3% of Hispanics, and 36.5% of others have used some other brand of e-cigarette.
  • 50.9% of whites, 45.4% of blacks, 53.4% of Hispanics, and 43.9% of others did not know the brand name of the e-cigarette they used.

Percentages of ever e-cigarette users who have used e-cigarettes for a substance other than nicotine, by race-ethnicity.

  • 32.6% of whites, 26.0% of blacks, 33.7% of Hispanics, and 36.9% of others have ever used e-cigarettes for a substance other than nicotine.
  • 67.4% of whites, 74.0% of blacks, 66.3% of Hispanics, and 63.1% of others have never used e-cigarettes for a substance other than nicotine.
Page last reviewed: March 9, 2018 (archived document)