A CLOSER LOOK: disposable e-cig usage by school students increases

A Closer Look

WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) — The use of disposable e-cigarettes by high school and middle school students increased, according to the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey results released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday, September 10.


  • High school students increase: 2.4% (2019) to 26.5% (2020)
  • Middle school students increase: 3% (2019) to 15.2% (2020)

The data collection is from current e-cigarette users, however, it was shortened due to COVID-19 which forced widespread school closures. The survey was conducted from January 16 to March 16, 2020. E-cig use was assessed by device and flavor type.

Although pre-filled pods or cartridges remain the most commonly used device among youth, disposable e-cigarette use increased by approximately 1,000%.

CDC/FDA/2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey

The 2020 survey results show e-cigarettes are used by approximately one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students. While this is a decline in current e-cigarette use since 2019, the data show that 3.6 million U.S. youth continue to use e-cigarettes, and favor products that are sold in appealing flavors.

Preferred e-cigarette flavors by high school students were fruit, followed by mint and menthol. For middle school students, the most favorite flavors were fruit, followed by candy and mint.

The most common device used by high school students were pre-filled pods/cartridges (48.5%) and the same for middle school students (41.3%).

“The overall reduction in e-cigarette use among youth is a positive sign, but the continued popularity of flavored products that are still allowed on the market is troubling. These numbers confirm what we already knew, the e-cigarette epidemic in our country is far from over,” according to the American Heart Association’s (AHA) statement regarding the survey. “

“The Trump administration’s policy, which allowed menthol pod-based e-cigarettes, flavored e-liquids used in open tank systems and flavored disposable e-cigarettes to remain on the market, fell short. This report shows that youth have simply moved to the flavored products that remain on the market, resulting in a significant increase in the use of disposable e-cigarettes and the prominent use of menthol-flavored products.”


The AHA urges the FDA to prohibit the sale of all flavored tobacco products, according to its statement.


In 2017, nearly 14% of high school students in Arkansas used electronic vapor products at least once a month, and nationally the rate was 13.2%, according to Truth Initiative a non-profit public health organization.

Arkansas was awarded approximately $283 million from tobacco settlement payments and taxes in 2019 and $12 million was allocated for tobacco prevention, according to Truth Initiative.

The District of Columbia’s tax is $4.50, the highest. The lowest is Missouri at 17 cents.


  • State lawmakers voted to raise the legal sales age for tobacco products from 18 to 21 effective September 1, 2019. Active military who turn 19 by December 31, 2019, are exempt. Minors are prohibited from buying e-cigarettes or other nicotine products.
  • Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.
  • Businesses that sell vapor products must register and get a permit from the Arkansas Tobacco Control (ATC) agency. Illegal tobacco purchases come with a penalty if individuals are caught.


  • BP Amoco Marion, Marion
  • Shell Superstop #412, Blytheville
  • Bonka-Chong Enterprise, LLC, Hampton


Permit holders cannot buy or sell tobacco products, vapor products, e-liquids or alternative nicotine products during their permit suspensions:

  • Arch Street Mini Mart LLC, Little Rock. July 13-14, 2020
  • Goodman’s Grocery, Paragould. July 13-19, 2020
  • Hogan Valero, Conway. July 13-13, 2020
  • Hometown Markets, Melbourne. 7 13-13, 2020
  • Lone Oak Deli & Grocery, Lonoke. July 13-13, 2020
  • Lucky Mart, Dewitt. July 13-26, 2020
  • New Era Vapours, Piggott. July 13-14, 2020
  • New Era Vapours, Corning. July 13-14, 2020
  • Parkin Citgo 12 LLC, Parkin. July 13-21, 2020
  • Parkin Valero, LLC, Parkin. July 13-21, 2020
  • Rans Food Mart, Clarksville. July 13-13, 2020
  • Sam’s Express, Forrest City. July 13-14, 2020
  • Tobacco Outlet of Van Buren #13, Van Buren. July 13-13, 2020
  • United Associate LLC – Store #4, Moko. July 13-14, 2020

A CLOSER LOOK: Are ‘fun flavors’ an attraction for tees to vape?

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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