Teen vaping, which has been skyrocketing, fell dramatically past year in the United States, new figures have revealed.
And that still leaves 20% of surveyed high school students and 7% of surveyed middle school students using tobacco in 2016.
Health officials have anxious about the booming popularity of vaping products among kids and the potential impact on adult smoking rates in the future.
The drop was significant, falling from 3 million in 2015 to 2.2 million in 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's because more kids and teens started to use e-cigarettes and hookah over the past five years, the report said.
The findings echo a recent University of MI survey, which also detected a decline in 2016.
Experts say it's too soon to know if the numbers will continue to drop. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article. Among high school students, 11 percent said they used e-cigarettes, as did a little more than 4 percent of middle school students, according to the report.
At the same time use of e-cigarettes rose to 11.3 percent from 1.5 percent and use of hookahs rose to 4.8 percent from 4.1 percent.
The National Youth Tobacco Survey results, released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), show that we are well on our way to finishing smoking for good.
Put the french fries down: Eating fried potatoes doubles risk of death
Other factors such as obesity and consumption of high quantities of salt may also play a role in increasing risk of early death . The National Potato Council however adds that potatoes as such are not the dietary culprits regardless of how they are consumed.
Almost 2 million middle and high school students said they had used two or more tobacco products in the past 30 days.
In December, the U.S. Surgeon General said that "e-cigarettes have the potential to cause lasting harm to the health of young users".
Compared with people who never smoked traditional cigarettes, current smokers were more than four times more likely to consider secondhand e-cigarette vapor harmless for kids, and former smokers were about twice as likely to have this opinion, the study found. In a statement Thursday about the new CDC data, Gottlieb said that while the latest numbers "are encouraging, it is critical that we work to ensure this downward trend continues over the long term across all tobacco products".
E-cigarettes may also be losing their novelty among teens, said Matthew Farrelly, a tobacco control researcher at RTI International.
The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public-education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco.
For example, the FDA's "Real Cost" campaign, Gottlieb said in his statement, has helped prevent almost 350,000 kids from smoking since its launch in 2014, while the Truth Initiative has run "truth", a campaign featuring hard-hitting messages on the tobacco industry and its marketing tactics. "However, the bad news is that we still have about 3.9 million U.S. youth who are using tobacco products". The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation's food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products. Among non-Hispanic black high school students, cigars were most commonly used.
For middle school students, about 5 percent said they'd recently vaped in 2015. President Donald Trump's budget proposes to eliminate the CDC's office on tobacco and zero out all tobacco-related funds, while proposals in Congress would curtail the FDA's authority over both cigars and e-cigarettes, he said. In particular, the FDA has issued more than 4,000 warning letters to brick and mortar and online retailers for selling e-cigarettes, cigars, or hookah tobacco to minors since new youth access restrictions went into effect in August 2016.