Cite this article

NIDA. (2016, March 8). How Many Teens Use E-cigarettes?. Retrieved from

press ctrl+c to copy
The NIDA Blog Team
March 8 2016
Illustration saying Teens and e-cigarettes

Ever wonder how many teens use e-cigarettes? Or whether smoking e-cigs means you’re more likely to start using tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, or hookahs? Check out the infographics below for the answers, plus more facts on teens and e-cigs.

Teens are more likely to use e-cigarettes than cigarettes

  • Teens’ use of cigarettes in the past month:
    • 3.6 percent among 8th graders
    • 6.3 percent among 10th graders
    • 11.4 percent among 12th graders
  • Use of e-cigarettes in the past month:
    • 9.5 percent among 8th graders
    • 14.0 percent among 10th graders
    • 16.2 percent among 12 graders
  • Twice as many boys use e-cigs as girls

Teen e-cig users are more likely to start smoking than non-users

  • Smoking includes combustible tobacco products (cigarettes, cigars, and hookahs)
  • 30.7 percent of e-cig users started smoking within 6 months; 8.1 percent of non-users started smoking within that time

What do teens say is in their e-cig?

  • 66.0 percent say just flavoring
  • 13.7 percent say they don’t know
  • 13.2 percent say nicotine
  • 5.8 percent say marijuana
  • 1.3 percent say it’s something else (other)

Okay, so what’s really in an e-cig? Manufacturers don’t have to report e-cig ingredients, so users often don’t know what’s in them. Not cool, right? (Note: The government might soon start requiring labels with ingredients.)


Teen exposure to e-cig advertising

  • 7 in 10 teens are exposed to e-cig ads
  • Among middle school students:
    • 52.8 percent are exposed to retail ads about e-cigs (a retail ad promotes products or services available from a local company or store)
    • 35.8 percent are exposed to internet ads
    • 34.1 percent to TV/movie ads
    • 25 percent to newspaper and magazine ads
  • Among high school students:
    • 56.3 percent are exposed to retail ads
    • 42.9 percent to internet ads
    • 38.4 percent to TV/movie ads
    • 34.6 percent to newspaper and magazine ads

E-cigarettes can be addictive. Plus, smoking e-cigs is linked with an increased chance you’ll start smoking cigarettes, cigars, and/or hookahs.

So think carefully about what you might be getting into—especially if it’s just because the e-cig flavoring tastes good. You might be inhaling more than you bargained for.