The Science - Tobacco

Summary of the Science

How does tobacco affect youth?

When young people smoke, it can have serious consequences for their health. It can result in:

  • Addiction to nicotine
  • Lung damage
  • Cardiovascular damage

Exposure to nicotine can also affect brain development and a young person’s overall health and well-being. Get the facts.

What does use in Texas look like?
  • 16% of middle and high school students used tobacco in the past 30 days. Lifetime tobacco use among students was 30%.
  • 26% of middle and high school students have used an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS) at some point in their lifetime; 12% have used one in the past month.

The Effects of Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)

Electronic vapor products, often referred to as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), include e-cigarettes, personal vaporizers, vape pens, e-cigars, e-hookah, and other devices that produce an aerosolized mixture containing flavored liquids and nicotine. These products are increasingly popular among youth, but still pose a major public health concern.

Though ENDS are often marketed as a “safer” product than traditional cigarettes, they still contain nicotine and other chemicals, and they are addicting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently began investing the outbreak of lung injury associated with e-cigarette use or vaping. As a result, the CDC and several other public health organizations recommend that people refrain from using ENDS while the investigation is ongoing.

What does use look like in Texas?
  • 26% of middle and high school students have used an ENDS at some point in their lifetime
  • 12% have used one in the past month – that’s three times the amount of students who say they’ve used traditional cigarettes in that same time period.
  • 67% of middle and high school students perceive ENDS as dangerous. This number is notably lower than the perception of danger around tobacco products as a whole (85%).