Survey: 1 in 5 Minnesota high school students use e-cigarettes

One in five Minnesota high school students are using e-cigarettes, according to a new survey from the state health department—a statistic public health officials say shows youth vaping remains a serious challenge for the state.  

The 2020 Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey also shows 70% of high school and middle school students who use e-cigarettes are reporting signs of nicotine dependence, according to a news release. 

The Minnesota Youth Tobacco Survey is a survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health to provide information about young people’s commercial tobacco use and design and evaluate prevention efforts. 

State health officials say the survey shows public health efforts have been successful in slowing the rapid growth of e-cigarette use in recent years. According to the new data, 19% of high school and 3% of middle school students currently use e-cigarettes and 34% of high school and 8% of middle school students reported ever using an e-cigarette, which is not a statistically significant increase from 2017.  

Overall tobacco use declined to 20.5% of high school and 4.1% of middle school students having used a tobacco product in the past 30 days, compared to 26.4% and 5.2% in 2017.

About four in five Minnesota students reported that the first tobacco product they ever tried was flavored, the new data shows. 

The survey also found that among students who use e-cigarettes, around 65% of high school and 72% of middle school students had vaped marijuana, a statistically significant increase from 2017.

The use of cigarettes and cigars has dropped to the lowest rates ever recorded by the survey. Just over 3% of high school students report smoking cigarettes over the last 30 days—a steep decline from 2017—and cigar use among high school students is now also just as low.

MDH says youth vaping remains at epidemic levels. A recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed an estimated 3.6 million youth in the U.S. use e-cigarettes. 

Minnesota has a new program called "My Life, My Quit" to help youth quit tobacco. More information can be found at