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NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow discusses 2015 MTF survey results: Tobacco & Nicotine

NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow discusses the 2015 Monitoring the Future survey results on tobacco use and electronic cigarettes.


Dr. Volkow:

We have seen in daily smoking, regular smoking among tenth graders close to a 20% decrease from one year to the next.

So, it's a result of that for the first time since we started this survey in 1975 we're seeing in 12th graders and also in 10th grade that the regular use of cigarette smoking is lower than the regular use of marijuana smoking, which actually reflects this very significant reductions in cigarette smoking whereas the rates of marijuana smoking among teenagers are remaining high, but very stable.

One of the questions that has a reason, is what is driving such very significant reductions in cigarette smoking and one of them is of course that prevention messages, but another one is that we're seeing wide diversity of products that are now accessible for teenagers to take nicotine.

And, so for example the electronic cigarette’s a new technology that allows a delivery of nicotine and we're seeing rates of e-cigarette use, actually on a monthly basis higher than cigarette smoking and that is true for the tenth and twelfth graders.

This is of concern because it's leading us to losing some of the very positive ground on the prevention of the use of nicotine to cigarettes smoking which now may be taken by electronic cigarettes.

Since these are new devices and they actually we really do not know the extent, for example which is an area of concern to which kids that are initiating the use of nicotine to electronic cigarette will then transition to cigarette smoking—we don't know that, but certainly the rates we're seeing right now, which we actually just started to a survey them last year, are very high.

For the first time we asked kids what they're taking in the electronic cigarettes and this happened because we saw such high rates last year when we didn’t know actually a taking it with nicotine.

So this year the survey gives us data and it shows that at least 60 percent of teenagers think that they are taking these e-cigarrettes for flavoring, 20 percent say they are taking it in order to consume nicotine and out of eighth graders, 13 percent say they don't know what they are taking.


This page was last updated December 2015