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Page 12 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM February 2023 Healthy Living
More Than 3 Million Youth Reported Using a Tobacco Product in 2022
 ContRiButeD By: Communi- ties foR alCohol- anD DRug-fRee youth (CaDy)
A study released from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 3.08 million (11.3%) U.S. middle and high school students reported current (past 30-day) use of any tobacco product in 2022, which includes 2.51 million (16.5%) high school students and 530,000 (4.5%) mid- dle school students.
The study assessed eight com- mercial tobacco products. E-cig- arettes for the ninth consecutive year were the most used tobacco product among all students (2.55 million), followed by cigars (500,000), cigarettes (440,000), smokeless tobacco (330,000), hoo- kah (290,000), nicotine pouches (280,000), heated tobacco prod- ucts (260,000), and pipe tobacco
“Commercial tobacco prod-
uct use continues to threaten the health of our nation’s youth, and disparities in youth tobacco product use persist,” said Deir- dre Lawrence Kittner, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “By ad- dressing the factors that lead to youth tobacco product use and helping youth to quit, we can give our nation’s young people the best opportunity to live their healthiest lives.”
“It’s clear we’ve made com- mendable progress in reducing cigarette smoking among our nation’s youth. However, with an ever-changing tobacco product landscape, there’s still more work to be done,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Prod- ucts. “We must continue to tackle all forms of tobacco product use among youth, including meaning-
fully addressing the notable dis- parities that continue to persist.”
Many factors contribute to youth tobacco product use, in- cluding flavors, marketing, and misperceptions of harm. Most youth who use tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, want to quit.
This study’s findings suggest continuing disparities in tobacco product use, which to a certain ex- tent could be attributed to greater exposure to tobacco promotion and advertising and greater to- bacco retail outlet density in racial and ethnic minority communities, among other systemic factors. Those other factors include social determinants of health, which are conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of life-risks and out- comes.
There are, however, ongoing efforts at the national, state, and local levels to help reduce youth tobacco product use, such as en- forcing the federal minimum age of sale of 21 years for all tobacco product types; FDA’s ongoing ac- tions against sales of unauthorized e-cigarettes; state and community restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products; efforts to raise the price and prohibit public in- door use of tobacco products; media campaigns and other edu- cation efforts that warn about the dangers of tobacco product use.
Commercial tobacco product use remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States. Nearly all tobacco product use begins during youth and young adulthood. Youth use of tobacco products—in any form—is un- safe. Such products contain nico-
tine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing adoles- cent brain. Using nicotine during adolescence might also increase risk for future addiction to other drugs.
Everyone can help reduce youth product tobacco use. Par- ents, educators, and healthcare providers can help youth recog- nize and avoid the dangers of tobacco product use, and support and encourage youth who use to- bacco products to quit. Further- more, it is imperative to address policy and environmental factors that are driving tobacco-related disparities. For prevention infor- mation please visit our website at
If you, or someone you know, struggles with substance misuse or addiction, please call 2-1-1 or the Doorway at (603-934-8905) for help. You can also connect with Plymouth Area Recovery Connection (PARC), our local recovery center, located at Whole Village Family Resource Center in Plymouth at or 603-238-3555.
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