MONDAY, March 14, 2022 (HealthDay News) — During 2021, 13.4 percent of high school students and 4.0 percent of middle school students reported tobacco product use during the previous 30 days, according to research published in the March 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Andrea S. Gentzke, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues assessed tobacco product use patterns and associated factors among U.S. middle and high school students using data from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey. A total of 20,413 students from 279 schools completed the survey.

The researchers found that an estimated 34.0 and 11.3 percent of high school and middle school students, respectively, reported ever using a tobacco product in 2021. Current (past 30-day) use of a tobacco product was 13.4 and 4.0 percent for high school and middle school students, respectively. The most commonly currently used tobacco products were electronic cigarettes, cited by 11.3 and 2.8 percent of high school and middle school students, respectively, followed by cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookahs, nicotine patches, heated tobacco products, and pipe tobacco. Current use of any tobacco product was reported more often by students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (14.2 percent versus 7.9 percent of heterosexual); transgender students (18.9 percent versus 8.2 percent of not transgender); and students reporting severe psychological distress (14.2 percent versus 5.5 percent with no distress).

“The comprehensive and sustained implementation of population-level evidence-based tobacco control strategies, combined with U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulation of tobacco products, is important for preventing and reducing all forms of tobacco product use among all U.S. youths,” the authors write.

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