The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization focusing on heart and brain health, issued the following statement in response to the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
“The findings released today are cause for renewed hope and ongoing concern in the effort to prevent kids from using tobacco products. It is encouraging that tobacco use among high school students declined during the past year, from 16.5% to 12.6%. We also are pleased to see a corresponding decline in e-cigarette use, from 14.1% to 10.0%, among high school students during that time, along with declines in the use of cigars and other combustible tobacco products. These findings reflect the positive impact of public policies and education campaigns that have been proven to help many individuals avoid ever starting tobacco use and to help users quit.
“However, we are very concerned by the increase in tobacco use among middle school students, from 4.5% to 6.6% in current use of at least one tobacco product, and from 1.5% to 2.5% in the use of multiple tobacco products. E-cigarettes remain the most commonly used tobacco product among both middle- and high-school students. A total of 2.1 million continue to use e-cigarettes, and 90 percent of those use flavored products, which are designed to appeal to youth and are successful in attracting them to addiction. These trends point to the critical need for continued efforts to prevent the tobacco industry from targeting our nation’s children with addictive products that harm health.
“The American Heart Association calls on the White House and the FDA to quickly finalize rules that would stop the sale of menthol cigarettes and all flavored cigars. We also urge the FDA to both complete its review of all premarket tobacco applications and ensure products that have received marketing denial orders are removed from the market. Meanwhile, states and communities must continue their efforts to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products.”