The Chicago Journal

Youth E-Cigarette Usage Declines Amid Regulatory Action

Government Initiatives Yield Positive Outcomes

In a welcome turn of events, the use of e-cigarettes among high school students in the United States has shown a remarkable decrease. This significant shift can be attributed to the proactive measures taken by the government against companies that market illicit vape products, which have been alluring to young individuals. These initiatives reflect the government’s dedication to safeguarding the health of the nation’s youth.

Insights from the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey

The 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey has brought to light some noteworthy findings regarding e-cigarette consumption among high school students. The data reveals a considerable drop in e-cigarette usage, with the percentage declining from 14.1% in 2022 to a commendable 10% in 2023. This reduction equates to approximately 580,000 fewer high schoolers engaging in e-cigarette use. Such statistics highlight the positive impact of regulatory actions.

Aiding the Overall Decline in Tobacco Use

In addition to the encouraging decrease in e-cigarette use, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have noted a broader trend. Overall tobacco smoking among this demographic has reached an all-time low, indicating that the measures implemented are bearing fruit. The current use of any tobacco product by high school students has decreased by an estimated 540,000 students, declining from 2.51 million in 2022 to 1.97 million in 2023. These numbers underscore the success of efforts to reduce tobacco consumption among the younger generation.

Public Health Victory

The director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, Brian King, expressed his optimism, stating, “It’s encouraging to see this substantial decline in e-cigarette use among high schoolers within the past year, which is a win for public health.” This sentiment underscores the broader implications of this decline, as it represents a notable step forward in safeguarding the well-being of the nation’s youth.

Long-Standing E-cigarette Dominance

E-cigarettes have been the dominant tobacco product among both high school and middle school students for an entire decade. This extended reign underscores the need for ongoing vigilance and regulation in this area. It is notable, however, that while there were no significant alterations in e-cigarette use among middle schoolers (grades 6 to 8) from 2022 to 2023, there was an increase in the current overall tobacco product use, rising from 4.5% to 6.6% among middle school students. This shift underscores the importance of a multi-faceted approach to address tobacco use among adolescents.

Ongoing Battle Against Unregulated Vaping Devices

The battle to curb e-cigarette usage among the nation’s youth continues to be a primary focus for U.S. health regulators. The challenge has intensified with the influx of new vaping devices from abroad, circumventing existing tobacco regulations. Notably, the Chinese brand Elf Bar, banned by the FDA, remains available on store shelves. This highlights the need for more comprehensive international cooperation to address the regulatory challenges posed by the global nature of the vaping industry.

Leading Culprits in Youth E-cigarette Use

The report identifies the most commonly reported brands among students currently using e-cigarettes. Elf Bar emerges as the leading brand at 56.7%, followed by Esco Bars, Vuse, JUUL, and Mr. Fog. These insights provide a valuable understanding of the specific products that have been appealing to young consumers, aiding in the development of targeted regulatory measures.

Safety Concerns Persist

Despite the positive trends in reduced tobacco and e-cigarette use, the report emphasizes the continued unsafe nature of youth tobacco product use. This serves as a vital reminder that while progress has been made, there is still work to be done to protect the well-being of young individuals.

Commitment to Youth Health

King’s reiteration of the FDA’s commitment to combating youth tobacco product use is reassuring. He emphasizes the agency’s willingness to employ an array of enforcement tools to protect the health of the nation’s youth. This dedication underlines the ongoing commitment to regulatory action and public health.

Regulatory Measures in Action

Over the past year, the FDA has issued hundreds of warning letters to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers of unauthorized e-cigarettes, including several distributors of Elf Bar. These actions showcase the tangible steps taken to enforce regulations and prevent the distribution of products that pose a risk to young individuals.

5 Top Internships for High School Students in Chicago

As the summer season approaches, high school students are on the lookout for engaging and rewarding internships. Fortunately, there are numerous programs in Chicago that satisfy a variety of interests and skill sets. Here are five top internships for high school students in Chicago:

StandOut Connect

StandOut Connect is a remote program started at The University of Chicago that provides paid internships to high school students in their area of interest. Students in the StandOut Connect program receive mentorship from top university alumni in their area of interest throughout their internship. The internship program helps students build their resumes and professional skills as well as learn how to integrate novel technologies such as Open AI into their workflows.

Chicago Business Institute Summer Internship Program

The Chicago Business Institute (CSBI) provides a six-week paid internship program to high school students in Chicago. Internships are offered at various banks, law firms, accounting firms, and engineering firms in the Loop and other business districts. This program aims to introduce students to the corporate world and provide them with hands-on experience in various business fields.

The Field Museum Internship

The Field Museum offers both paid and unpaid internships to high school students. Interns work alongside scientists, researchers, and other interns, gaining valuable experience in the field of their choice. This program aims to provide students with hands-on experience in research, conservation, and science communication.

University of Chicago Data Science Institute Summer Lab

The Data Science Institute Summer Lab is a 10-week long paid summer research program at The University of Chicago. High school students are paired with a data science mentor in various domains, such as biology, social sciences, and public policy. The program aims to provide students with the opportunity to explore the field of data science and gain experience working on real-world research projects.

University of Chicago Medicine ResearchStart Program

The ResearchStart Program is a multi-institutional program that welcomes high school students from the Chicago and Urbana-Champaign areas to explore careers in cancer research. This program offers hands-on experience working in a laboratory setting, where students work on research projects with mentors and learn about the latest advances in cancer research.

These internships provide high school students with the opportunity to explore various fields, gain hands-on experience, and build their resumes. Participating in these programs can also help students make connections with professionals in their fields of interest, which can be invaluable as they pursue their careers.

It is pertinent for high school students to take advantage of internship opportunities, as they can be a critical stepping stone to future success. Not only do internships help students develop their skills and gain experience, but they also give students a better understanding of their chosen field and what is required to succeed in it.

Overall, Chicago offers an array of top-notch internship programs for high school students. Whether students are interested in business, science, or data analytics, there are opportunities available to match their interests and help them achieve their goals.