In September 2021, the FDA and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings from the 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report “E-Cigarette Use among Middle and High School Students — United States, 2021.”
Methodological changes made this year to conduct the survey during the COVID-19 pandemic prevent year-to-year comparisons of this year’s data to previous surveys. Data were collected using an online survey to allow eligible students to participate in the classroom, at home or in some other place to account for various school settings during this time. Prior to the pandemic, the survey was conducted exclusively in the classroom at school.
Nonetheless, youth e-cigarette use remains an ongoing concern as the survey found that more than 2 million U.S. middle school and high school e-cigarette users used e-cigarettes in 2021, and almost 85 percent of youths using e-cigarettes used flavored products.
Since 2014, e-cigarettes have been the most commonly used tobacco product among U.S. youths. In 2020, an estimated 3.6 million (13.1%) U.S. middle and high school students reported using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days (current use); more than 80% of current users reported flavored e-cigarette use.
- In 2021, 11.3% of high school students (1.72 million) and 2.8% (320,000) of middle school students reported current e-cigarette use.
- 43.6% of high school students and 17.2% of middle school students reported using e-cigarettes 20 or more of the past 30 days.
- Daily use was 27.6% among current high school e-cigarette users and 8.3% among current middle school e-cigarette users.
- Among both middle and high school current e-cigarette users, the most commonly used device type was disposables, followed by prefilled or refillable pods or cartridges.
Notes from the Field: E-Cigarette Use Among Middle and High School Students — National Youth Tobacco Survey, United States, 2021