2.5 million children used tobacco products in 2021 | News, Sports, Jobs
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Despite positive advances in recent years, adolescent tobacco use remains a significant public health risk.
In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey. While tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States, companies continue to aggressively market products to youth — a problem fueled by the spread of flavored e-cigarettes is made worse.
Nationwide, about 2.55 million middle and high school students reported using tobacco products in the first half of 2021 — a number that’s even more alarming considering many schools are closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic were still closed. Of those 2.55 million children, over 2 million have used e-cigarettes.
In his statement on the survey, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids President Matthew L. Myers correctly noted that this number underscores why the FDA needs to move to phase out flavored products: “In addition to reducing overall youth tobacco use, the elimination of flavored tobacco products will help address disparities in tobacco use identified in the NYTS, including higher rates of tobacco use among LGBT youth and higher rates of combustible tobacco use, particularly cigar use.” , among the black youth. These groups have been targeted by the tobacco industry with marketing for flavored products, including menthol cigarettes.”
The bright spot in the survey is the continued decline in cigarette smoking among youth – only 1.9 percent of respondents said they smoke. This all-time low in youth smoking rates means we can make progress in tackling e-cigarette use.
The Heart Network’s Health Systems for a Tobacco Free North Country program works with healthcare providers, behavioral health organizations and public health agencies to reduce the prevalence of tobacco use in our communities. To learn more, visit heartnetwork.org. For resources to help you quit, visit the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at nysmokefree.com or call 1-866-NY-QUITS.
Healthcare systems for a tobacco-free northern country