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Vital Signs

Vital Signs: E-cigarette Ads and Youth

To make CDC health information more accessible to the public, more interesting to the media, and more relevant to policymakers, CDC created Vital Signs—a monthly publication that uses concise and compelling data to communicate vital health information on select topics. The CDC Vital Signs for January 2016 reports exposure to e-cigarette advertising among U.S. middle and high school students.

The Vital Signs report has several parts, including an MMWR Early Release, a fact sheet, a Web site, a digital press kit, social media tools, and podcasts in English and Spanish.

E-Cigarette Advertising and Youth

About seven in 10 middle and high school students—more than 18 million young people—see e-cigarette advertising in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or in television and in movies. E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes, such as independence, rebellion, and sex used to sell cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products. Advertising of tobacco products has been shown to cause youth to start using those products.

E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use. In 2014, e-cigarettes became the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes. During 2011 to 2014, current e-cigarette use among high school students soared from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent, and among middle school students from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent. Spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014.

CDC Resources for Tobacco Prevention and Control

The following resources can help you learn about e-cigarette advertising and youth

  • Vital Signs
    The January 2016 CDC Vital Signs monthly report details new information about youth exposure to e-cigarette advertising, the reasons this is a public health concern, and strategies that could prevent youth exposure to e-cigarette advertising and youth e-cigarette use.

CDC Resources on E-cigarette Advertising and Youth


Related Vital Signs Reports