CDC Foundation to Monitor E-Cigarette Use in Teens

The use of e-cigarettes among youth has increased significantly since the introduction of the product to the U.S. market in 2007. Currently, more than 3.6 million middle and high school students in the United States use e-cigarettes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In response to the e-cigarette epidemic, the CDC Foundation received a grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies to monitor and evaluate e-cigarette use by collecting data on use, access, sales, attitudes and behaviors among teens and young adults. The grant, announced today, is part of a three-year $160 million initiative to address e-cigarette use among teens. 

The CDC Foundation, in collaboration with CDC and state-level partners, will monitor the epidemic by collecting data related to e-cigarette use and behaviors in various states and localities; evaluate the impact of state- and community-level flavored tobacco policies on youth access, initiation and use; and track and monitor retail e-cigarette sales data to evaluate the impact of policies on e-cigarettes sales, market share and product/brand consumption.  

Judith Monroe, MD., chief executive officer of the CDC Foundation said in the press release announcing the initiative: “It is important to gain a deeper understanding of the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes on youth, and the CDC Foundation’s focus is on gathering and evaluating data to better inform effective policies. We appreciate the support of Bloomberg Philanthropies and partners in helping tackle this epidemic to protect our youth.”

E-cigarette use and a potential link to lung illnesses is currently under investigation.  As of September 6, 2019, over 450 possible cases of lung illness associated with e-cigarette use have been reported to CDC from 33 states and one U.S. territory; and five deaths have been confirmed. While investigations are ongoing, CDC states that the use of any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe for kids, teens and young adults. 

Tackling health threats such as this requires all sectors—public and private—to work together. We look forward to working with CDC, program partners and Bloomberg Philanthropies to protect our nation’s youth from this rapidly evolving public health epidemic. 

Busola Saka
Busola Saka is the communications director for the CDC Foundation.