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CDC Report: Use of E-Cigarettes Doubled Among U.S. Teens

More than 75% of youth users smoke conventional cigarettes, too (September 5)

The percentage of U.S. middle and high school students who use electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, more than doubled from 2011 to 2012, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey, published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, show that the percentage of high school students who reported ever using an e-cigarette increased from 4.7% in 2011 to 10.0% in 2012. During the same period, high school students using e-cigarettes within the past 30 days rose from 1.5% to 2.8%. Use also doubled among middle school students. Altogether, in 2012 more than 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigarettes.

“The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH. “Nicotine is a highly addictive drug. Many teens who start with e-cigarettes may be condemned to struggling with a lifelong addiction to nicotine and conventional cigarettes.”

The study also found that 76.3% of middle and high school students who used e-cigarettes within the past 30 days also smoked conventional cigarettes during the same period. In addition, one in five middle school students who reported ever using e-cigarettes say they have never tried conventional cigarettes. This raises the concern that there may be young people for whom e-cigarettes could be an entry point to the use of conventional tobacco products, including cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, are battery-powered devices that provide doses of nicotine and other additives to the user in an aerosol. E-cigarettes not marketed for therapeutic purposes are currently unregulated by the FDA.

Source: CDC; September 5, 2013.

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