May 23, 2018

Adolescents' e-cigarette use drops for first time

17 June 2017, 05:58 | Lena Norman

2017. REUTERS Thomas White Illustration

2017. REUTERS  Thomas White  Illustration

2016 marks the first year in which e-cigarette use declined in teens, since monitoring began in 2011.

According to the CDC, the number of middle and high school students who used any tobacco product fell to 3.9M past year from 4.7M in 2015.

Although King believes the reported drop is good news, he noted that too many young people are still using the devices, as well as other tobacco products like typical cigarettes.

E-cigarettes were the most commonly used tobacco product, Brian King, PhD, deputy director of research translation in the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, told HealthDay.

"These products were new and novel and now we're starting to see that change", said Robin Koval, president of Truth Initiative, a public health education organization that runs anti-tobacco ads.

E-cigarettes and hookah usage had grown sharply from 2011 to 2014.

The CDC says e-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive substance that can affect the developing teenage brain.

The Food and Drug Administration asserted its authority to regulate e-cigarettes and some other products in 2016.

With e-cigs and vaping becoming a more popular choice over traditional cigarettes for a third consecutive year, there is concern among anti-tobacco advocates that their use will normalize the use of all tobacco products. Among high school students, 11 percent said they used e-cigarettes, as did a little more than 4 percent of middle school students, according to the report.

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Fears that electronic cigarettes are causing a youth health crisis appear to be misplaced, according to federal data showing teen vaping and smoking rates are declining.

Four out of 10 school going children in the country smoke their first cigarettes before the age of 10, and cigarette sellers hardly refuse to sell the harmful item to them, says a new study.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has indicated support for the role that e-cigs and other innovative nicotine and tobacco products can have in reducing overall traditional cigarette use. He said the agency has issued more than 4,000 warning letters to brick-and-mortar retailers and online sellers for selling tobacco products to minors. Among black high school students, cigars were the most commonly used product.

The number of high school students who smoked cigarettes in the 30 days before being surveyed fell to 8% from 9.3% in 2015. According to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, each day more than 2,500 new kids under the age of 18 start smoking and almost 400 turn daily smokers from being occasional ones. "If however, he vigorously implements them even while exploring whether e-cigarettes can help adults quit, he has the potential to turn the current trend into an irreversible movement".

We plan to build on these vital efforts to reduce tobacco-related disease and death. It is also clear from these most recent numbers that youth are continuing to experiment with, or becoming regular users of, a wide range of other tobacco products.

The report was published June 16 in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.

E-cigarettes are devices that heat up a fluid containing nicotine to produce a vapor that users inhale; thus their use is sometimes called "vaping".

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on youth and tobacco.

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