Frequency of Tobacco Use Among Middle and High School Students--United States, 2014

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Oct 2;64(38):1061-5. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6438a1.


The use of tobacco products during adolescence increases the risk for adverse health effects and lifelong nicotine addiction. In 2014, an estimated 4.6 million middle and high school students were current users of any tobacco product, of whom an estimated 2.2 million were current users of two or more types of tobacco products. Symptoms of nicotine dependence are increased for multiple tobacco product users compared with single-product users. CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) analyzed data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) to determine how frequently (the number of days in the preceding 30 days) U.S. middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students used cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco products. Among current users (≥1 day during the preceding 30 days) in high school, frequent use (≥20 days during the preceding 30 days) was most prevalent among smokeless tobacco users (42.0%), followed by cigarette smokers (31.6%), e-cigarette users (15.5%), and cigar smokers (13.1%); a similar pattern was observed for those who used during all 30 days. Among current users in middle school, frequent use was greatest among smokeless tobacco users (29.2%), followed by cigarette smokers (20.0%), cigar smokers (13.2%) and e-cigarette users (11.8%). Current use of two or more types of tobacco products was common, even among students who used tobacco products 1–5 days during the preceding 30 days: 77.3% for cigar smokers, 76.9% for cigarette smokers, 63.4% for smokeless tobacco users, and 54.8% for e-cigarettes users. Preventing youths from initiating the use of any tobacco product is important to tobacco use prevention and control strategies in the United States. Monitoring the frequency and patterns of tobacco use among youths, including the use of two or more tobacco products, is important to inform evidence-based interventions to prevent and reduce all forms of tobacco use among youths.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Schools / statistics & numerical data
  • Students / psychology*
  • Students / statistics & numerical data
  • Tobacco Products / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology