Cigarette-smoking rates have stopped falling among U.S. children, and health officials believe youth vaping is responsible.
For decades, the percentage of high school and middle school students who smoked cigarettes had been declining fairly steadily. For the past three years, it has flattened, according to new numbers.
A recent boom in vaping is the most likely explanation, said Brian King of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings come from a national survey of more than 20,000 middle and high school students. About 8 percent of high schoolers said they had recently smoked cigarettes in 2018, and about 2 percent of middle schoolers did—about the same seen in surveys in 2016 and 2017. The CDC also found that about 2 in 5 high school students who used a vaping or tobacco product used more than one kind, and that the most common combination was e-cigarettes and cigarettes.
A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2019 edition of Education Week as Youth Smoking Decline Stalls, And Vaping May Be to Blame