The number of high school students regularly using e-cigarettes dropped significantly over the past year, after several years of soaring use, according to a new government survey of teenagers (Source: “E-Cigarette Use Falls Sharply Among Teenagers, C.D.C. Finds,” New York Times, Sept. 9).
The encouraging public health news was tempered by evidence that many high school users were taking advantage of a regulatory loophole to get access to flavored products.
But the CDC data suggested that even greater progress may have been stymied by the growing popularity of a new product — disposable e-cigarettes, which, under a loophole in federal regulations, are still allowed to be sold in youth-friendly flavors.
The shifting trends were captured by the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey, an annual look at teen use of tobacco-related products, administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.