(COLORADO SPRINGS) — 2.55 million middle and high school students reported current (past 30-days) use of e-cigarettes nationwide in 2022, according to a new study released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

14.1% of high school students and 3.3% of middle school students reported smoking E-cigarettes, according to a nationwide study published in the CDC’s, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The study also found that 85% of youth used flavored E-cigarettes and more than half used disposable E-cigarettes.

Among youth who currently use E-cigarettes, 14.5% reported their usual brand was Puff Bar, followed by Vuse (12.5%), Hyde (5.5%), and SMOK (4.0%), per the CDC. More than one-fifth (21.8%) reported using a brand other than the 13 listed in a survey.

“This study shows that our nation’s youth continue to be enticed and hooked by an expanding variety of E-cigarette brands delivering flavored nicotine,” said Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health. “Our work is far from over. It’s critical that we work together to prevent youth from starting to use any tobacco product – including E-cigarettes – and help all youth who do use them, to quit.”

Other key findings:

  • Frequency of Use: More than one in four (27.6%) youths used E-cigarettes daily and more than four in 10 (42.3%) youths used E-cigarettes on 20 or more of the past 30 days.
  • Device Type: The most commonly used E-cigarette device was disposable (55.3%), prefilled or refillable pods or cartridges (25.2%) and tanks or mod systems (6.7%).
    • 12.8% reported not knowing the type of device used.
  • Flavored E-cigarettes:  84.9% youth used flavored E-cigarettes (flavors other than tobacco)
    • 85.5% of high school and 81.5% of middle school students reported use.
    • The most used flavors were fruit (69.1%); candy, desserts, or other sweets (38.3%); mint (29.4%); and menthol (26.6%).

According to the CDC, E-cigarettes have been the most used tobacco product among youth in the U.S. since 2014. The use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe, says the CDC. Such products contain nicotine which is highly addictive and can harm the developing adolescent brain. Nicotine use during adolescence may also increase the risk for future addiction to other drugs, states the CDC.

“Adolescent E-cigarette use in the United States remains at concerning levels, and poses a serious public health risk to our nation’s youth,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “Together with the CDC, protecting our nation’s youth from the dangers of tobacco products—including E-cigarettes—remains among the FDA’s highest priorities, and we are committed to combatting this issue with the breadth of our regulatory authorities.”  

The findings are based on data from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), a cross-sectional, self-administered survey of U.S. middle school (grades six through eight) and high school (grades nine through 12) students. The survey was administered from January 2022 through May 2022.