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2023 CDC Data Shows High School Vaping Dropped AGAIN and More! Tobacco Harm Reduction News

New 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey data from CDC shows high school vaping has dropped AGAIN. All-star guest panel reviews Netflix’s “Big Vape” on a special CASAA Live. New York City mulls banning smoking/vaping in “open air.”  Calls to Action for Congress, Pennsylvania and Evanston, IL. A study about adult vaping in Indiana gets it so wrong and more!

Scroll to the bottom of this post for a link to the audio/video versions of this post!

CALL TO ACTION // Stop A Federal Tax!

Comparing “oranges to oranges” (in this case milligrams of nicotine in vapes vs cigarettes,) if HR 5715 is enacted, vapes would be taxed at a rate approximately 5X higher than cigarettes! Vaping consumers will be paying up to 6¢/mg of nicotine compared to 1.1¢/mg in cigarettes.

The tax hike is just as bad, if not worse, for nicotine pouches, snus, and moist snuff — all reduced risk products compared to cigarettes!

TAKE ACTION: Fight a National Vapor Tax!

CALL TO ACTION // Pennsylvania: Stop a Flavor Ban!

HB 1161 would ban tobacco and nicotine products in any flavor other than tobacco.

TAKE ACTION: Pennsylvania: Fight a Flavor Ban!

CALL TO ACTION // Evanston, IL: Stop A Flavor Ban!

Ordinance 74-O-23, which would ban tobacco and nicotine products in any flavor other than tobacco, is moving toward final consideration on Monday, November 13, 2023 at 6PM!

TAKE ACTION: Evantson, Illinois: Stop A Flavor Ban!

CDC // Some Facts About the 2023 National Youth Tobacco Survey Data

The new data on middle and high school vaping has been made public and anti-nicotine groups are falling all over themselves trying to spin good news into bad.

For years now, middle school rates have remained fairly steady, with vaping and overall tobacco use maxing out experiencing a sharp rise in 2019. This year the middle school numbers are about the same as they were in 2018, when CDC and health groups barely made a peep about middle school vaping. Because the middle school tobacco use rates are always so much lower than high school rates, the CDC often focused on the worst news they could find, which was high school vaping rates.

This year, rather than finding their “vaping epidemic” was getting worse in high school, they got all around better, so they’ve latched onto the total use of all tobacco products and the uptick in middle school rates. What’s important to remember, however, is that 1.24 million middle school vapers in 2019 are now the upperclassmen in high school THIS year – where vaping and overall tobacco use has declined. It’s painfully clear to anti-nicotine groups that their claims that vaping would lead to a “generation of nicotine addicts” and was a “gateway to smoking” turned out to be completely wrong!

It was also wrong for CDC and FDA to call the peak of youth vaping an “epidemic.” This chart (below) is based on CDC reports of the National Youth Tobacco Surveys (NYTS). The 2023 report was released November 2nd.

Compare these definitions and decide which best fits the graph:




a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time




an intense and widely shared enthusiasm for something, especially one that is short-lived

Also note ALL “tobacco” use (which includes vaping) is SIGNIFICANTLY lower today (12.6%) than what just cigarette smoking was in 2009 (17.2%).

Can it really still be argued vaping is “reversing gains made in reducing youth tobacco use” or that it’s a “gateway to smoking?”

Despite so-called “kid-friendly” flavors, “high nicotine” disposables, etc., youth vaping AND smoking are DOWN.

NOW can we finally focus on saving the lives of millions of ADULTS who still smoke and stop trying to ban the products that adult vapers and adults who smoke clearly prefer?

READ MORE: Tobacco Product Use Among U.S. Middle and High School Students — National Youth Tobacco Survey, 2023

CASAA IN ACTION // This Week on CASAA Live!

How Will A Menthol Ban Impact Vaping (Part 2)!

Saturday, November 4th at 4:30 PM ET/3:30 PM CT.
Join Alex, Logan and Lt. Diane Goldstein of The Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) as they discuss this important topic and more! (Scroll down to watch a replay of the special CASAA Live episode about Netflix’s “Big Vape!”)
RESEARCH // Can they get it any more WRONG?

Indiana “ranked among the worst in the nation for most of the last decade” for smoking, so should be CELEBRATING a new study finding ADULT vaping increased significantly while smoking dropped to 14.4%.

The study, titled “Report on the Vaping Epidemic in Indiana and Marion County,” was commissioned by Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, which claims vaping is “not a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes” and each US vaper adds “$2,000 in health care costs each year.”

Of course, the focus quickly turned from adults to youth vaping. Several charts had demographics of adults vapers (ie. sex, race, education) but NOT ONE showed how many are/were SMOKING. This CASAA chart👇makes it clear why they didn’t want to show adult smoking vs vaping trends.

The authors do contortions to support the so-called “youth epidemic,” but their own chart shows ALL tobacco use has dropped significantly, including vaping dropping across all grades from over 16% to under 10%, and they admit 12th grade vaping is LOWER than the US average.

The study “found” that vaping isn’t a “safe” alternative to traditional cigarettes, but we all know that is intentionally misleading. They undoubtedly know vaping isn’t promoted as “safe,” and numerous studies have found vaping to be demonstrably SAFER for adults who SMOKE.

The study didn’t find any proof vaping was a significant health risk or comparable to traditional cigarettes. It merely regurgitated misleading statements about chemicals “found” in vapor without comparison to what levels are actually considered a risk or to what’s in SMOKE.

They only equated vaping to cigarettes when stating “E-cigarettes have the potential to deliver equal or more nicotine compared to a traditional cigarette,” yet failed to show how that would be a risk to ADULTS who were SMOKING. Instead they switched to discussing youth.🤷‍♀️

They make the baseless claim of youth “brain damage,” and the “gateway” claim their own chart (above) disputes. They get a point for mentioning “common liability,” but only AFTER arguing that meta-analyses “have all concluded that there is evidence to support the gateway effect.

They bring up risks of nicotine exposure & pregnancy, but FAIL to compare those risks with exposure to SMOKE (significant harm reduction for expectant mothers who smoke) and the fact that studies show vaping is shown more effective in helping pregnant women QUIT SMOKING.

At this point, it should surprise no one that the authors bring up EVALI. This report not only failed to mention illicit THC vapes, it FALSELY claims “the CDC believes” that vitamin E acetate in “e-cigarette liquid” (e-liquid contains NICOTINE not THC) was the cause.

Following that lack of proper explanation of the difference between THC vapes and nicotine e-cigarettes, they then warn that “Physicians need to be aware of different terminology…since there are many different terms for electronic nicotine delivery systems.” 🤦‍♂️

Finally, as far as the “economic costs” of vaping, their source was the ONE and only study ever published on the subject, which subsequently garnered quite a bit of criticism and backlash, including:

READ MORE: Vaping is hurting, not helping, Indiana’s fight to be nicotine-free

TOBACCO CONTROL // New York City Heading to Bottom of Slippery Slope

Anti-Smoking c. 1986: “There’s no slippery slope leading to smoking being completely banned! We just want non-smoking areas in restaurants.”

Anti-Nicotine c. 2023: “After banning smoking everywhere else, now we just want to ban smoking in ‘open spaces’.”

New York City is now “mulling” a ban on smoking and vaping on outside on sidewalks AROUND parks because smoke doesn’t even belong in areas with “open air.” We’ve come a long way from “We just want a non-smoking areas indoors.” This graphic (below) looks an awful lot like that “slippery slope” they said didn’t exist back in 1986!

 READ MORE: NYC Council mulls expanding smoking ban in parks to nearby sidewalks

WORLD NEWS // Australia Vape Hysteria

Headlines in Australia cry “Children so addicted to nicotine they sleep with vapes under pillow, Australian hearing told!”

Meanwhile, just 3 years after the height of the “vaping epidemic,” U.S. youth were “so addicted to nicotine” that youth vaping had DROPPED by OVER 50%.


READ MORE: Children so addicted to nicotine they sleep with vapes under pillow, Australian hearing told



Join CASAA CEO Alex Clark with guests Helen Redmond, Greg Conley and Michelle Minton as they break down the good, the bad and the ugly of the new Netflix documentary about vaping and Juul, “Big Vape.”

Catch the next show LIVE this Saturday, November 4th at 4:30PM ET/3:30PM CT!

TAKE ACTION // CASAA State Facebook Groups

Have you joined your CASAA State Facebook group yet? Check it out now! Click the link below, click on your state on the map, then click the “Join Now” button to go to your state’s group page. It’s as easy as that to stay updated on local happenings, meet local advocates and never miss a Call to Action in your state!

Don’t forget to also follow our official Facebook page at


CASAA STORE // Apparel and More

Show your support by shopping our store! Our president (and brilliant website/swag designer) Danielle has added some awesome new designs to CASAA’s apparel shop!

VISIT: CASAA Apparel and Swag Store

CASAA MEDIA // Spotify

CASAA’s podcast is on Spotify! Please give us a follow here:

CASAA IN ACTION // Twitter Spaces

The week we recap the Reagan-Udall sessions with Amanda Wheeler, Tim Andrews and CASAA CEO Alex Clark, who all presented to the panel about FDA’s issues regulating reduced-harm products. What grade would you give FDA? Also available on CASAA’s Spotify channel (above.)

CASAA MEDIA // Podcast

Catch up on past tobacco harm reduction news with Alex and Logan on the CASAA podcasts on SoundCloud every Monday and now live on YouTube and Facebook every Saturday at 3:30 PM.