Survey shows Minnesota youth tobacco use rising for the first time in 17 years
Youth e-cigarette use up 50 percent since 2014
A new survey shows for the first time since 2000, overall youth tobacco use has increased in Minnesota, with 26.4 percent of high school students using some form of tobacco or nicotine, up from 24.6 percent in 2014.
Youth e-cigarette use is at its highest point ever recorded.
The rapid uptake of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices has quickly reversed a long-term trend of declining teen tobacco use in Minnesota, according to new results from the Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey. The new data show one in five high school students use e-cigarettes, a nearly 50 percent increase since the data were last collected in 2014. At the same time, youth cigarette smoking has reached an all-time low. Less than 10 percent of high school students now smoke cigarettes – a 70 percent drop since 2000.
E-cigarettes pose a serious health risk.
Nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which can harm brain development as teens grow. No amount of nicotine is safe for youth. Adolescence is a critical window for brain growth and development, when the brain is still “under construction”; there could be negative implications for learning, memory, and attention. Evidence also suggests that nicotine primes the adolescent brain for addiction, increasing the risk of future addictions not only to tobacco, but other substances like illicit drugs.
Recent evidence also suggests that, compared to youth who have never used them, youth who have tried e-cigarettes are twice as likely to start smoking in the future.
Communities are taking action to reduce youth tobacco use.
Tobacco control has many highly effective, evidence-based strategies to prevent youth initiation and reduce youth access. Local communities are working to:
- Increase the minimum sales age to 21.
- Reduce youth access to e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.
- Limit flavored and menthol tobacco sales.
- Increase the minimum pack and price of cigars.
- Increase compliance and enforcement efforts of youth access laws.
About the survey
The Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey (MYTS), conducted since 2000 by the Minnesota Department of Health, is a representative sample survey, which provides comprehensive, in depth information on the tobacco use of young people and to design and evaluate prevention efforts. The seventh MYTS was conducted in 2017 and included participation from 4,112 students from 70 public schools.
- Fact Sheet
- Report Teens and Tobacco in Minnesota: Highlights from the 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey
- Data Highlights from the 2017 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey (PDF)
- What you need to know about marijuana use and teens (CDC)
- Marijuana fast facts and fact sheets (CDC)
- Menthol-Flavored Tobacco Products
- Stop Sales to Minors – Training for retailers to prevent tobacco sales to minors
- Tobacco 21: Health Impacts of Raising the Minimum Tobacco Sale Age
More tobacco news
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Youth e-cigarette use has risen dramatically in Minnesota in the last three years, with an almost 50 percent increase in high school student e-cigarette use since 2014. This is a major public health concern. Youth use of nicotine increases their risk of addiction, and can make them more susceptible to addiction to tobacco products and other substances in the future.
Nearly all e-cigarettes contain nicotine, and popular e-cigarettes, like JUUL, are sleek and concealable and often used in schools by students. It is important that school staff are familiar with these products and that they have the resources to educate students on the risks of e-cigarette use. To help address youth e-cigarette use in schools, MDH also released an updated school toolkit outlining resources and opportunities for action by school administrators, educators, teachers and health services staff.
MDH recommends immediate action requiring the participation of parents, educators, health care providers and policy makers.
- Press Release: Health department issues back-to-school warning on nicotine and e-cigarettes
- Health Advisory: Nicotine and the Escalating Risk of Addiction for Youth (PDF)
- School Toolkit: Addressing Student Use of E-cigarettes and other Vaping Products (PDF)
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