Dr. Wilson Compton on MTF and Nicotine Use

Dr. Wilson Compton, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health, discusses findings from the 42nd annual Monitoring the Future (MTF) survey, released December 13, 2016. The survey focuses on drug use and attitudes among America’s 8th, 10th, and 12th graders. Questionnaires given to more than 10,000 teenagers measures the use of tobacco, alcohol and traditional illicit drugs, as well as newer drug trends, including electronic cigarettes and synthetics. The MTF survey, funded by NIDA, is conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

Video length: 1:40


Dr. Compton:

Monitoring the Future has been documenting for the last three years that more youth use e-cigarettes, then use traditional cigarettes.

That really is a surprise to many people that teenagers are using e-cigarettes even though they never used another form of tobacco first.

This may be what they're beginning to experiment with.

What we have seen some positive developments in the 2016 data we see a slight decline in the number of youth that are reporting e-cigarettes.

We already know that the youth that are taking up e-cigarettes are more likely to make that transition to traditional combustible tobacco, than don’t use don't use e-cigarettes.

So, those that start with e-cigarettes make that transition to combustible tobacco more readily.

We know that from some longitudinal studies that NIDA has supported.

What we don't know is necessarily is this due to the nicotine, or is it due to the learned behavior.

What's in these products?

So, there's some very basic information that's missing.

What's in the e-cigarette products?

So what are youth exposed to on a regular basis?

When they're trying these new devices.

Hookahs became extremely popular just a few years ago we started seeing hookah bars for young adults, or older adults and the teenagers are not immune from that.

They're curious about the same things that they see young adults and others using so we saw a surprising number close to twenty percent using hookah just a couple years ago.

We do see some improvements in the 2016 data that there are fewer using these hookah forms of tobacco in the 2016 data.