Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Tobacco Product Use Among Middle and High School Students—United States, 2014–2017

August 31, 2018 / Vol. 67 / No. 34

 

 


MMWR Introduction

Wide disparities in tobacco product use have been documented among the largest racial/ethnic groups in the United States, however, little is known about tobacco product use among youths from racial/ethnic groups other than whites, blacks, and Hispanics. CDC analyzed pooled data from the 2014–2017 National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS) to assess the use of seven tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipes, and bidis) among U.S. middle and high school students from seven racial/ethnic groups—whites, blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders, and multiracial.

Comprehensive and sustained implementation of evidence-based, population-level tobacco control interventions could reduce prevalence and disparities in tobacco product use among U.S. youths.

MMWR Highlights

Ever-Use of Tobacco Products Among Middle and High School Students, 2014–2017

  • Ever-use of any tobacco product among U.S. middle and high school students by racial/ethnic groups was:
    • Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (45.1%).
    • American Indian/Alaska Natives (43.8%).
    • Multiracial (38.2%).
    • Hispanics (35.1%).
    • Blacks (32.3%).
    • Whites (32.0%).
    • Asians (16.3%).
  • Across all racial/ethnic groups, ever-use of any tobacco product was significantly higher among high school students than among middle school students.

Current Use of Tobacco Products Among Middle and High School Students, 2014–2017

  • Current use of any tobacco product among U.S. middle and high school students by racial/ethnic groups was:
    • Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (23.4%).
    • American Indian/Alaska Natives (20.6%).
    • Multiracial (16.5%).
    • Whites (15.3%).
    • Hispanics (14.6%).
    • Blacks (11.5%).
    • Asians (5.0%).
  • Across all racial/ethnic groups, current use of any tobacco product was significantly higher among high school students than among middle school students.

Ever-Use of Specific Tobacco Products Among Middle and High School Students, 2014–2017

  • E-cigarettes were the most commonly ever-used tobacco product, both overall (22.9%) and among all racial/ethnic groups except black and American Indian/Alaska Native students, who reported higher ever-use of cigars (19.9%), and cigarettes (31.4%), respectively.
  • Among whites, males reported significantly higher ever-use of any tobacco product than did females (males: 34.6% versus females: 29.5%), Hispanics (36.4% versus 33.8%), and Asians (18.5% versus 13.8%). There were no significant gender differences among other racial/ethnic groups.

Current Use of Specific Tobacco Products Among Middle and High School Students, 2014–2017

  • E-cigarettes were the most common currently used tobacco product overall (9.2%) and among all racial/ethnic groups except black students, among whom the most common currently used product was cigars (6.7%) followed by e-cigarettes (5.1%).
  • Among whites, males reported significantly higher current use of any tobacco than did females (males: 18.0% versus females: 12.6%), Hispanics (15.6% versus 13.5%), Native Hawaiians/Other Pacific Islanders (29.6% versus 16.8%), and multiracial students (19.5% versus 13.8%). There were no significant gender differences among other racial/ethnic groups.

 

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Page last reviewed: August 27, 2018 (archived document)