In line with previous findings and arguments by countless tobacco harm reduction experts, the annual National Youth Tobacco Survey from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has confirmed that there is no teen vaping epidemic.
The latest CDC data shows a significant drop in teen vaping, with a decrease from 14.1% in 2022 to 10.0% in 2023 among high school students. While the smoking rates among middle and high school students remain low at 1.6%. Vapes remained the most popular “tobacco product” among teens and vaping school usage slightly increased to 4.6% from 3.3%. Elf Bar and Esco Bars were the brands most commonly vaped.
US Health authorities are still concerned, saying that many who try vapes continue using them. Approximately 22.2% of 6.2 million students surveyed used some form of “tobacco” with 10% using e-cigarettes. Of these, 25.2% vaped daily, and 89.4% used flavoured vaping products. Despite the drop in high school vaping rates, the CDC said that combatting vaping remains an ongoing challenge.
Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance (WVA) Michael Landl highlighted the need to dispel exaggerated panic about teen vaping while ensuring strategies to discourage youth vaping, without depriving adult smokers of safer alternatives. He stressed the importance of policymakers grounding strategies in research and scientific facts, urging a shift towards a harm reduction approach that safeguards youth but also supports adult access to safer nicotine alternatives. Overemphasizing the battle against teen vaping might hinder its potential benefits for adult smokers.