After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released its latest National Youth Tobacco Survey, Vapor Technology Association (VTA) Executive Director Tony Abboud said the FDA’s reporting of the data is misleading.
“Yesterday, the FDA, in coordination with the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ], released new data from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) on e-cigarette use among U.S. youth,” Abboud stated. “The FDA represents the NYTS data to show that youth vaping ‘remains high,’ yet a deeper dive into the data show only a small uptick in experimental or infrequent use while regular use remains flat or is slightly down.
Abboud notes that since 2019, according to the CDC, the number of high school students who have tried vaping (1 time in the last 30 days) has dropped by 50 percent, and the number of middle school students has plummeted by 70 percent. During that same time period, the number of high-school students who ‘frequently’ vape dropped by 37 percent and the number of middle school students dropped by 65 percent.
” FDA’s near single-minded focus on youth who experiment with vaping versus those who are frequent users ignores what clearly is a consistent trend of youth away from vaping products. Rather than focusing on removing products from the market in an attempt to impact youth vaping, the FDA should instead support common-sense regulatory reforms that would better restrict access to products instead,” Abboud stated. “Simply removing products from the market is not the answer when those products are also proven to help adult smokers quit.”
Abboud explained that it is well documented that flavored vapor products help adult smokers to switch to less harmful vaping and “study after study after study” has confirmed the data. Since 2010, when e-cigarettes became widely available in the U.S., smoking rates have declined by more than half, he stated.
“Tobacco use is down. Youth vaping is down. These are both good things and are not in dispute. Unfortunately, there are still 40 million Americans addicted to cigarettes,” Abboud stated. “Every year, 500,000 die from smoking-related diseases and yet less than three percent of our kids are using vapes on a regular basis. The FDA’s failure to acknowledge this reality ignores the role vaping plays in harm reduction and smoking cessation, and puts more lives at risk.”