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E-cigarette use among middle and high school students skyrockets, CDC data show

Posted by on Sep. 6, 2013 at 12:18 AM
  • 42 Replies

E-cigarette use among middle and high school students skyrockets, CDC data show

The use of electronic cigarettes among middle and high school students has been rising rapidly, a trend that public health officials worry could undermine decades of efforts to reduce youth smoking and put a growing number of teenagers on a path toward conventional cigarettes.

According to data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of middle and high school students in the United States who have used e-cigarettes more than doubled from 2011 to 2012.

Graphic

E-cigarettes growing in popularity among teens
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E-cigarettes growing in popularity among teens

(The Washington Post)

“The increased use of e-cigarettes by teens is deeply troubling,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said in announcing findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey. “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.”

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that look like cigarettes but do not burn tobacco. Rather, they deliver nicotine, flavor and other chemicals in the form of a vapor. A starter kit, which typically includes two e-cigarettes, extra batteries and various nicotine cartridges, can cost $20 to $200. Because of the limited research into e-cigarette use, their risks and benefits remain uncertain and subject to widespread debate.

What’s more certain is their steady growth in popularity among adults and, according to the CDC survey, young people.

The survey found that the percentage of high school students who said they had used an e-cigarette jumped from 4.7 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012. Nearly 3 percent of those students said they had used an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, up from 1.5 percent a year earlier. Use also doubled among middle school students, the CDC reported.

All told, more than 1.78 million middle and high school students nationwide had tried e-cigarettes in 2012, the agency said.

Perhaps most troubling for public health advocates, the survey found that more than three-quarters of middle and high school students who had used e-cigarettes within the past month also had smoked conventional cigarettes during the same period. About 1 in 5 middle school students who reported using e-cigarettes said they had never tried conventional cigarettes.

The CDC’s findings are in line with a more recent survey conducted in Florida that found that more than 4 percent of middle-schoolers and 12 percent of high-schoolers had tried e-cigarettes — figures that have risen dramatically over the past two years.

Big U.S. tobacco companies have begunscooping up e-cigarette manufacturers with an eye toward a not-so-distant future, when, some analysts say, sales of e-cigarettes could eclipse those of conventional cigarettes. This year alone, tobacco giants such as Lorillard, Altria and Reynolds have begun wading into the e-cigarette market. E-cigarette use also has boomed in Europe in recent years.

Anti-smoking activists say that the rise in the popularity has happened in part because the devices are largely unregulated and cultivate an image as a cooler, less harmful alternative to regular cigarettes.

Graphic


E-cigarettes growing in popularity among teens


(The Washington Post


Without that kind of oversight, he said, e-cigarette companies have remained free to sell their products online and spend huge sums mimicking the advertising practices that big tobacco companies once used.

“We have seen e-cigarettes marketed using exactly the same images in exactly the same places that the cigarette industry used decades ago,” he said. “Open a magazine, and you’ll see beautiful women and young celebrities marketing e-cigarettes. Go to NASCAR, and you’ll see cars sponsored by e-cigarettes.”

Those efforts to “re-glamorize” smoking, Myers said, threaten to undo years of efforts and millions of dollars spent on campaigns to cut down on youth smoking in the United States and could create a new generation of smokers.

Proponents of e-cigarettes reject comparisons to traditional cigarettes, arguing that they contain nowhere near the amount of harmful substances that smokers inhale. They also have argued that rather than creating a slippery slope that could lead nonsmokers toward other tobacco products, e-cigarettes have the potential to help people wean themselves off conventional cigarettes.

Thomas Kiklas, president of the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association, said he doesn’t buy the argument that e-cigarettes are a “gateway” to traditional cigarettes for young people.

“Kids have been smoking for hundreds of years,” he said. “So I don’t think any singular technology is going to push kids into cigarette use.”

At the same time, he said, the association “absolutely” does not support sales or marketing aimed at minors and encourages its members to adhere to local, state and federal tobacco laws. He said the group supports mandatory online age verification on e-cigarette sales.

The FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products still plans to assert its authority over e-cigarettes, its director said Thursday, in part because, without regulation, the agency has little way to know how safe or unsafe they are, how much nicotine or other chemicals users are inhaling, and whether the devices can help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes or lead them to try other tobacco products.

“We don’t yet understand the long-term effects of these novel tobacco products,” Mitch Zeller, the FDA’s top tobacco official, said in a statement. “These findings reinforce why the FDA intends to expand its authority over all tobacco products and establish a comprehensive and appropriate regulatory framework to reduce disease and death from tobacco use.”

by on Sep. 6, 2013 at 12:18 AM
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Replies (1-10):
paganbaby
by Teflon Don on Sep. 6, 2013 at 12:37 AM
1 mom liked this

My 13yo daughter wants a hooka pen. I think their similar to E cigarettes but without the nicotine. She said all her friends have one and she wants one too. Yeah...no.

Liz_Rocket
by on Sep. 6, 2013 at 12:40 AM
Are these kids that are already smokers? And are they using vape juice that actually has nicotine in it, or the kind that doesn't?
Carpy
by Ruby Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 5:54 AM
2 moms liked this

I sell tons of them. 

SyllabaryBisque
by Bronze Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 6:01 AM
2 moms liked this
I started smoking at a very young age, so I can definitely see this. The lack of smell alone would have appealed to me.

I wonder if traditional tobacco use in children has dropped as a result?
billsfan1104
by Jules on Sep. 6, 2013 at 6:07 AM
1 mom liked this
I can see the government trying to ban this or tax this to the hilt, because regular cigarette sales have gone down. And that means the taxes from that are going bye bye.
I do not believe the FDA when they say, that these are dangerous.
Carpy
by Ruby Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 6:13 AM

Revenue has dropped since Obama signed the tobacco tax right after he got in office.  The bill that Bush vetoed 3 times.  They more than doubled the price of RYO cigarette tobacco and increased the cost of a pack of cigarettes, but neglected to put pipe tobacco in the bill.  Now every RYO company markets tobacco as "pipe" tobacco and people adjusted their behavior and revenue has dropped.

Quoting billsfan1104:

I can see the government trying to ban this or tax this to the hilt, because regular cigarette sales have gone down. And that means the taxes from that are going bye bye.
I do not believe the FDA when they say, that these are dangerous.


Minnow Slayer

Carpy
by Ruby Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 6:15 AM

The cost difference now.  RYO marketed as cigarette tobacco, went from roughly 13-16 dollars to 40-50 dollars a pound.  Labeled as "pipe" tobacco, the cheapest one I sell is 11.99 a pound.

FrogSalad
by Sooze on Sep. 6, 2013 at 6:20 AM

According to my husband, who "vapes," they already are trying very hard to ban them.

I don't know how the OTC e-cigs compare to the ones you can buy online, but dh says the OTC ones are junk and nasty.

Quoting billsfan1104:

I can see the government trying to ban this or tax this to the hilt, because regular cigarette sales have gone down. And that means the taxes from that are going bye bye.
I do not believe the FDA when they say, that these are dangerous.



Atheist Mama?  Join us!

How paramount the future is to the present when one is surrounded by children.  Charles Darwin

supercarp
by Silver Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 1:16 PM

I like e-cigarettes because people can smoke them without bothering me. Also, we don't have to worry about them setting houses or woods on fire. If kids are using them, maybe they need better parents.

Citygirlk
by Gold Member on Sep. 6, 2013 at 3:09 PM

It's just water vapor. Might help her breath better. Lol joking i don't thing 13 year olds hold be smoking anything now at 15...

Quoting paganbaby:

My 13yo daughter wants a hooka pen. I think their similar to E cigarettes but without the nicotine. She said all her friends have one and she wants one too. Yeah...no.


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