2022 Monitoring the Future Survey… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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2022 Monitoring the Future Survey Shows Youth E-Cigarette Use Remains a Serious Problem – FDA Must Swiftly Eliminate the Flavored Products Addicting Kids

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
December 15, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The 2022 Monitoring the Future survey released today provides fresh evidence that youth e-cigarette use remains a serious public health problem in the United States and underscores why the FDA must act without further delay to clear the market of the flavored products driving this youth addiction crisis.

The new survey finds that nicotine vaping is the most common form of past 30-day substance use for 8th and 10thgrade students in 2022, exceeding use of other substances such as alcohol and cannabis. Among 12th graders, nicotine vaping was the second most common form of substance use. While youth e-cigarette use has declined since peaking in 2019, this year’s survey found that over 1 in 5 high school seniors (20.7%) vaped nicotine in the past month (considered current use). This is about the same level as in 2018 (20.9%) when the U.S. Surgeon General, the FDA and other public health authorities first declared youth e-cigarette use to be a public health epidemic.

In far more positive news, the Monitoring the Future survey shows that youth cigarette smoking rates remain at record lows, with past-month smoking rates of 4% for 12th graders, 1.7% for 10th graders, and 0.8% for 8th graders. These results continue a long-term trend that has seen smoking rates among 12th graders fall from a high of 36.5% in 1997. This is a remarkable public health success story that will save lives for generations to come.

However, far too many kids continue to use and become addicted to e-cigarettes, putting their health at risk. The 2022 Monitoring the Future survey results show why it would be a serious error to consider the youth e-cigarette epidemic to be over. It isn’t. We know from another survey, the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (2022 NYTS) released earlier this year, that many kids aren’t just experimenting with e-cigarettes, but becoming addicted to the high-nicotine products now dominating the market. The 2022 NYTS found that 46% of high school e-cigarette users report frequent use (on at least 20 days a month) and 30.1% report daily use, which strongly indicates addiction. The U.S. Surgeon General has found that youth use of nicotine in any form is unsafe, can cause addiction and can harm adolescent brain development, impacting attention, memory and learning.

We also know that flavored products are driving youth e-cigarette use. According to the 2022 NYTS, 85% of youth e-cigarette users report using flavored products, with fruit, candy/desserts/other sweets, mint and menthol reported as the most popular flavors.

To protect our kids, the FDA must act without further delay to clear the market of all flavored e-cigarettes. Unfortunately, the FDA has repeatedly missed deadlines set by a federal court and Congress to act, leaving flavored e-cigarettes widely available. The FDA must swiftly complete its review of e-cigarette marketing applications and deny applications for all flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol-flavored products. States and cities must also continue their growing efforts to end the sale of flavored e-cigarettes, as well as other flavored tobacco products.

The Monitoring the Future survey is conducted annually by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).