Tobacco Cessation Behaviors Among U.S. Middle and High School Students, 2020

J Adolesc Health. 2022 Jan;70(1):147-154. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2021.07.011. Epub 2021 Aug 20.


Purpose: The landscape of youth tobacco product use has changed dramatically in recent years; however, little is known about current youth cessation behaviors. This study aims to assess prevalence and correlates of quit intentions and past-year quit attempts among U.S. middle and high school students who report current use of any tobacco product, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes.

Methods: Data came from the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, a nationally representative cross-sectional school-based survey of students in grades 6-12. Weighed prevalence estimates of quit intentions and past-year quit attempts among users of any tobacco product, cigarettes, and e-cigarettes are presented. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression with predictive marginals was used to assess sociodemographic correlates of quit intentions and quit attempts for each tobacco product user group.

Results: Quit intentions were reported by 62.5% of current users of any tobacco product, 68.1% of cigarette smokers, and 63.9% of e-cigarette users. Similarly, past-year quit attempts were reported by 65.4% of current users of any tobacco product, 65.8% of cigarettes smokers, and 67.4% for e-cigarette users. Harm perceptions toward tobacco, nicotine dependency, and the use of ≥2 tobacco products were significantly correlated with quit intentions, quit attempts, or both among different tobacco product user groups.

Conclusions: Most students who use tobacco products want to quit and have attempted to do so. Development of youth-focused cessation interventions, particularly those addressing the most commonly used products, could potentially accelerate progress in a comprehensive approach to youth tobacco prevention and control.

Keywords: Quit attempts; Quit intentions; Tobacco cessation; Youth.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Smoking Cessation*
  • Students
  • Tobacco Products*
  • Tobacco Use Cessation*