E-cigarette use ‘skyrocketing’ among the young in the U.S., says official

Pearl Mccarthy
February 14, 2019

In recent years, the overall proportion of high school students using any tobacco products fell, mainly due to fewer students smoking cigarettes and cigars, the CDC said. "It's putting a new generation at risk for nicotine addiction", said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, MD. "For the fifth year in a row, e-cigarettes (20.8%) were the most commonly used tobacco product among high schoolers ..."

The survey estimates 4.9 per cent of college students vape.

A current user is defined as a person who has used a product in the past 30 days.

Cigarette smoking rates have stopped falling among USA kids, and health officials believe youth vaping is responsible.

E-cigarettes are generally considered better than cigarettes for adults who are already addicted to nicotine. "Youth use of any tobacco product, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe", he adds.

The CDC said the number of current cigarette smokers and consumers of other tobacco products in middle and high school remained roughly stable from 2017 to 2018. "But now, having become exposed to nicotine through e-cigs, they will be more likely to smoke".

To address these trends, in November the state Department of Health committed some $7 million to help combat e-cigarette use in particular, with funds from tobacco tax revenue.

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We do not have a clear idea about the long-term effects of these substances since e-cigarettes have only been in use for 15 years or so.

E-cigarette use increased to almost 21 percent among high schoolers and 5 percent among middle schoolers in 2018, up from about 12 percent and 3 percent in 2017, respectively.

Vaping began to take off among the young in the 2010s, and overtook cigarette smoking in 2014. Both singled out the huge growth in sales of the e-cigarette brand Juul - introduced to the market in 2015 - as a major contributor to rise in youth e-cigarette use.

Cigarette smoking is still declining in some states. He added that if the trend continues in 2019, tough decisions will have to be made regarding the regulation of e-cigarettes. Men also used tobacco products more frequently than women.

The group also recommended that vaping products be sold behind a counter by a health professional without attractive packaging and with all of the ingredients clearly labelled. The new analysis of 2018 data from National Youth Tobacco Surveys was published Monday by the CDC in a Vital Signs report.

The findings were published February 11 in the CDC publication Vital Signs.

"Legislators and policy-makers are responding, but we need rapid action to ban advertising to youth including through social media outlets, restrict purchases including online, raise the age of purchasing nicotine products to 21, ban vaping in places where tobacco is prohibited, and ensure that nicotine vaping products are taxed like other tobacco products", he continued.

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