Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey indicates increase in youth tobacco use for first time in 17 years

The first Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey (MYTS) was conducted in 2000, and additional rounds of data were collected every two to three years after. The most recent MYTS revealed an increase in youth tobacco use for the first time since the survey began. In 2017, 26.4% percent of high school students reported use of any tobacco product in the past 30 days, which is a 7 percent increase from 2014. Much of this increase is due to the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes: 19.2 percent of high school students reported electronic cigarette use in the last 30 days and 37.7 percent reported ever use of electronic cigarettes. Nearly one-third (32.2 percent) of underage electronic cigarette users reported that they purchased their electronic cigarette from a retailer, while  18.4 percent reported they purchased an electronic cigarette from a vape shop. Nicotine is harmful to the developing adolescent brain, and new products like the JUUL electronic cigarette are making these products more appealing to young people and easier to hide.

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