Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2011–2016

June 16, 2017 / Vol. 66 / No. 23

MMWR Introduction

Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., and nearly all tobacco use begins during youth and young adulthood. Youth use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe. CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2011–2016 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS) to determine recent patterns of current (past 30-day) use of seven tobacco product types among U.S. middle (grades 6–8) and high (grades 9–12) school students: cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), hookahs (water pipes used to smoke tobacco), pipe tobacco, and bidis (small imported cigarettes wrapped in a leaf).

During 2015–2016, decreases were observed in current use of any tobacco product, any combustible tobacco product, ≥2 tobacco products, e-cigarettes, and hookah. However, current use of any tobacco product did not change significantly during 2011–2016 among middle or high school students, although there was a decline in combustible tobacco product smoking during this period.

In 2016, an estimated 3.9 million U.S. middle and high school students currently used any tobacco product, with 1.8 million reporting current use of ≥2 tobacco products. E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among both U.S. middle and high school students in 2016.

Tobacco prevention and control strategies at the national, state, and local level likely have contributed to the reduction in tobacco product use, including e-cigarettes, among youths in recent years. Continued implementation of these strategies can help prevent and further reduce the use of all forms of tobacco product use among U.S. youths.

MMWR Highlights

Current (past 30 day) tobacco product use among high school students, 2016

  • Any tobacco product: 20.2%
  • Any combustible tobacco product: 13.8%
  • Two or more tobacco products: 9.6%
  • E-cigarettes: 11.3%
  • Cigarettes: 8.0%
  • Cigars: 7.7%
  • Smokeless tobacco: 5.8%
  • Hookah: 4.8%
  • Pipe tobacco: 1.4%
  • Bidis: 0.5%

Current (past 30 day) tobacco product use among middle school students, 2016

  • Any tobacco product: 7.2%
  • Any combustible tobacco product: 4.3
  • Two or more tobacco products: 3.1%
  • E-cigarettes: 4.3%
  • Cigarettes: 2.2%
  • Cigarettes: 2.2%
  • Smokeless tobacco: 2.2%
  • Hookah: 2.0%
  • Pipe tobacco: 0.7%
  • Bidis: 0.3%