ATLANTA—The number of high school students who frequently smoke electronic cigarettes declined significantly, according to a new study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the New York Times reports.
The 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed that among high school students, 19.6% reported current e-cigarette use, down from 27.5% last year. Overall, 1.8 million fewer U.S. youth are using e-cigarettes compared to 2019.
“After two years of disturbing increases in youth e-cigarette use, we are encouraged by the overall significant decline reported in 2020,” said Stephen Hahn, U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, in a statement. “This is good news; however, the FDA remains very concerned about the 3.6 million U.S. youth who currently use e-cigarettes, and we acknowledge there is work that still needs to be done to curb youth use.”
The Trump Administration in January banned flavored e-cigarettes except for menthol and tobacco but allowed the sale of flavored disposable e-cigs. “Although the decline in e-cigarette use among our nation’s youth is a notable public health achievement, our work is far from over,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, in a statement. “Youth e-cigarette use remains an epidemic, and [the] CDC is committed to supporting efforts to protect youth from this preventable health risk.”
Wednesday was the deadline for tobacco premarket review submissions. Manufacturers that don’t submit e-cigarette systems for approval must pull them from the market. NACS requested that the FDA publish a PMTA list to help retailers understand which products are OK to continue to sell. Last week, the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products announced that it intends to publish a list of products for which they received PMTAs by the deadline. However, the agency clarified that the list would not be publicly available immediately.
“In the interim, we encourage retailers and other interested parties to refer to the public statements made by the companies or contact the companies directly to get information about applications they may have submitted,” stated the Center for Tobacco Products. NACS has asked the agency to exercise its enforcement discretion in the interim since a retailer cannot credibly confirm that manufacturers have submitted PMTAs without a published list from the agency.