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Youth vaping, smoking & nicotine use

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Why youth nicotine use is an important issue

Faced with declines in cigarette use – the youth smoking rate dropped from nearly 23% in 2000 to an all-time low of 2.3% in 2021 – the commercial tobacco industry has expanded its product offerings to include flashy e-cigarettes, flavored nicotine-containing products such as oral nicotine pouches and lozenges, and the heated tobacco device IQOS, dramatically changing the product landscape. Companies have also begun to use synthetic nicotine – created in a laboratory and not derived from tobacco – raising regulatory challenges and health concerns. Meanwhile, combustible cigarettes are still marketed aggressively with trillions consumed each year around the world.

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Quitting smoking and vaping

Youth nicotine use in any form is unsafe. Nicotine is harmful to developing brains: younger users are more likely to become addicted, have more difficulty quitting and may be at higher risk for addiction to other substances in the future.

E-cigarette use among young people, many of whom were not smokers in the first place, remains at epidemic levels. Over 2.5 million middle and high school students use e-cigarettes with nearly half (46%) of high schoolers who vape doing so near daily. While we endorse the important public health strategy of harm reduction and these new products may be beneficial to smokers who completely switch from combustible tobacco, they still pose health risks and nonsmokers should never use them.

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Vaping prevention curriculum

The proliferation of new tobacco products threatens to reverse years of progress made toward ending nicotine addiction. Through our tools, resources, and public education and prevention effortstruth delivers the facts about smoking, vaping, and nicotine use, exposes the tactics of the tobacco industry, and helps young people make informed choices and influence their peers to do the same.

Learn about our national youth vaping prevention curriculum
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Youth mental health and nicotine use

Two health crises among youth — a mental health crisis and a vaping public health crisis — pose increasing threats to a generation of young people. They are also linked in ways many may not realize, according to a body of peer-reviewed studies.

Mental health and nicotine resources

We are creating a future where tobacco and nicotine addiction are a thing of the past. This is how we're doing.

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Get the latest facts and analyses on the most important issues in tobacco and substance use.

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