According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) survey, some interesting e-cigarette facts and figures have come to light. Tobacco use among high school students is at its lowest in 25 years, but the use of e-cigarettes has increased significantly over the past few years.

The 2015 National Youth Risk Survey found that 11% of students reported smoking within the last 30 days, which was lower than the 28% first reported back in 1991, when the survey was conducted for the first time. However this decrease has meant that more teens, 24% to be exact, are now using electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) such as e-cigarettes in 2015.

The data was released on Thursday by CDC from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveys published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The survey is conducted by CDC every two years and provides data on more than 15,000 adolescent health risks and health protective behaviors such as smoking, sexual behavior, drinking, drug use, physical activity and diet habits.

Nationwide 44.9% teens have been reported to be using electronic vapor products which include e-cigarettes, vape pipes, vaping pens, e-hookahs, hookah pens, e-cigars.

The probability of using these products was higher among 10th grade males (45.3%) compared to 10th grade female students (41.2%). The prevalence of using e-vapor products was higher among Hispanic students (51.9%) compared to white (43.2%) and black (42.4%) students.

The probability of vapor product use has been found to be higher among Hispanic female students (51.2%) than white female (42.3%) and black female (37.7%) students, and higher among Hispanic male (52.6%) than white male (44.0%) students.

What is interesting is to note is that as students progressed to higher classes, their probability of using e-vapor products increased — 9th graders had a prevalence of 37.2%, 10th graders had a prevalence of 43.3%, 11th graders had a prevalence of 49.5% whereas 12th graders had a prevalence of 52.9%.

Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., Deputy Director for Research Translation from the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said, “Aside from being highly addictive there’s growing evidence to show nicotine might harm the developing brain and could also lead to sustained tobacco use over time,”.

He added, “So the bottom line is that youth shouldn’t be using any form of tobacco product irrespective of whether its e-cigarettes, a combustible product like cigarettes or smokeless tobacco.”

King further added that apart from being highly addictive there’s compelling evidence to prove that nicotine might harm a developing brain and could also lead to sustained tobacco use over time. Moreover, nicotine can be more capable at distorting brain chemical balance and is more addictive than heroin or alcohol.

Nicotine’s effects are more profound than other drugs’ because nicotine directly acts upon the body’s central nervous system, bypassing all sensory centers and releasing dopamine in the brain. Hence, all forms of nicotine should be avoided.

Stephanie Zaza, M.D., M.P.H., FACPM, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, said that overall high school students are making better choices but that there still are plenty of challenges since many students are picking up alternative habits. Due to the increase in popularity of e-vapor devices, and e-cigarettes in particular, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to regulate e-cigarettes.

There were other categories as well that the study report shed a light on. Tobacco was merely one of six categories included in the survey. Following is some of the data gathered from the other five categories in 2015.

Interesting e-cigarette facts: Injuries/violence

  • 5% of drivers had texted or e-mailed while driving in the last month, down from 41.4% in 2013.
  • 5% had been electronically bullied in the last year, up from 14.8% in 2013 but down from 16.2% in 2011.

Alcohol And Drugs

  • 8% drank alcohol in the last month, down from 34.9% in 2013 and 50.8% in 1991.
  • 17% had taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription during their life, down from 17.8% in 2013 and 20.7% in 2011.

Nutrition

  • 7% had not eaten vegetables in the last week, up from 6.6% in 2013 and 4.2% in 1999.
  • 20% drank soda one or more times a day, down from 27% in 2013 and 33.8% in 2007.
  • Nationwide, 13.8% of students had drunk a can, bottle, or glass of a sports drink.
  • Nationwide, 61.0% of students had eaten vegetables one or more times per day during the 7 days before the survey.
  • Nationwide, 21.5% of students had not drunk milk during the 7 days before the survey.

Physical Activity

  • Nationwide, 48.6% of students had been physically active doing any kind of physical activity that increased their heart rate and made them breathe hard some of the time for a total of at least 60 minutes per day on 5 or more days during the 7 days before the survey
  • 7% played video/computer games or used the computer for something unrelated to schoolwork for more than 3 hours per day on an average school day, up from 41.3% in 2013 and 22.1% in 2003
  • 3% did not participate in physical activity for 60 minutes on at least one day in the last week, down from 15.2% in 2013 and 25% in 2005

Sexual Behaviors

  • 2% had ever had sexual intercourse, down from 46.8% in 2013 and 54.1% in 1991.
  • 9% of sexually active teens had used a condom during their last sexual intercourse, down from 59.1% in 2013 and up from 46.2% in 1991.