E-cigarette use skyrocketing among young Americans

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"It's putting a new generation at risk for nicotine addiction".

For the fifth year in a row, e-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product among high schoolers.

The survey estimates 4.9 per cent of college students vape. The smoking rate among US high school and middle school students has been flat for three years now, after a fairly steady decline for almost two decades, according to new numbers released Monday, Feb. 11, 2019.

In a Monday morning press conference, Brian King, MPH, of the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health noted that while cigarette smoking among youth did not increase in 2018, it did not decline and the popularity of e-cigarettes could be impacting youth smoking rates.

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For adult smokers, e-cigarettes are supposed to be a safer alternative, but only if a smoker switches completely.

'These new heated tobacco devices are as harmful as smoking traditional cigarettes.

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 with the introduction of e-cigarettes, the trend of nicotine uptake is not likely to slow down in the coming years.

SAAVE (Stop Addicting Adolescents to Vaping and E-Cigarettes) is a group of students and doctors created to petition the government to strengthen its regulations by banning all advertising as well as flavoured e-cigarette juice. Across middle school students previous year, any tobacco product use was reported among 9.5% of Hispanics and 6.8% of non-Hispanic blacks, and it dropped to 6.6% of non-Hispanic whites and dropped again to 3.8% of non-Hispanic students of other races. "We know very little about the health effects of these new devices, so we designed this research to compare them with cigarette smoking and vaping", added Sharma. 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.

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"JUUL entered the USA market in 2015 and since December 2017 has held the greatest market share of any e-cigarette in the United States".

Gottlieb said these trends could force the FDA "to make some tough decisions about the regulatory status of e-cigarettes". Cigarettes (8 percent) were next most common, followed by cigars (7 percent), smokeless tobacco (6 percent), hookah (4 percent), and pipe tobacco (1 percent). "The devices also use nicotine salts, which can allow high amounts of nicotine to be inhaled more easily and with less irritation than the free-based nicotine that's used in most other e-cigarettes". The new analysis of 2018 data from National Youth Tobacco Surveys was published Monday by the CDC in a Vital Signs report.

And many kids don't limit themselves to one type of tobacco product, the CDC found.

The FDA shares the CDC's concerns about the alarming surge in e-cigarette use among teens.

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The U.S. Surgeon General has more about e-cigarettes and young people.