(Reuters) – The percentage of e-cigarette users among high school students in the United States has declined to about 20% in 2020 from 27.5% last year, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.
According to a survey of U.S. middle school and high school students during Jan. 16–March 16, 3.6 million youth still used the devices and more than eight in 10 reportedly used flavored e-cigarettes, the agency said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
The surge in the use of electronic cigarettes among children and teens prompted U.S. health regulators to crack down on the sale of the products by companies like Juul Labs Inc.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration issued a ban on some popular e-cigarette flavors, including fruit and mint, in cartridge-based e-cigarettes which are often sold in convenience stores, affecting companies like Njoy and Vuse maker R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co that offer a wide variety of flavors.
Consistent with 2019, prefilled pods or cartridges were the most commonly used device type in 2020, the report noted, adding that the use of disposable e-cigarettes surged among both high school and middle school students.
They most commonly used fruit-flavored e-cigarettes in 2020, with other popular choices being candy, desserts, mint and menthol, the agency said.
About 56% of high school students who used any type of flavored e-cigarettes used mint flavor, according to the report.
The findings also suggest prominent menthol e-cigarette use, including among nearly one-half of flavored prefilled pod or cartridge users and one quarter of flavored disposable product users, the agency said.
(Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)