• On June 7, FDA and CDC released the results of the 2017 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Total number of high- and middle-school tobacco users of any tobacco product continued to fall to unprecedented levels, dropping over 20% between 2011 and 2017, from approximately 4.56 million to 3.62 million youth users. Comparing tobacco use as a percentage of population, use amongst high-school students dropped from 1 in 4 in 2011 to 1 in 5 in 2017 and from 1 in 13 middle-school students in 2011 to 1 in 18 middle-schoolers in 2017. The positive results continue to make clear that any fear of a “gateway” effect to smoking from use of reduced harm products like e-cigarettes is, so far, unfounded. While acknowledging the reduction, both CDC and FDA are actively seeking further reduction in youth tobacco use, and highlight concerns over youth e-cigarette use and nicotine addiction.
  • FDA took the opportunity of the release of the Survey results to reiterate and expand upon its Youth Tobacco Prevention Plan. FDA has taken steps, including warning letters, requests for information, advertising campaigns, focus groups with youth, youth use surveys, and further regulation to limit youth use. FDA also acknowledged, once again, that e-cigarettes “may present an important opportunity for adult smokers to transition off combustible tobacco products and onto nicotine delivery products that may not have the same level of risks associated with them.”