CDC: Vapes May Be Fueling Spike In Teen Smoking

CDC: Vapes May Be Fueling Spike In Teen Smoking

CDC: Vapes May Be Fueling Spike In Teen Smoking

The dramatic rise in electronic cigarette use among middle- and high school students in 2018 is responsible for the largest single year increase in youth tobacco usage ever recorded, reversing a decades-long downward trend in use, the CDC confirms.

Officials say there could be several reasons for the stall, but that a recent boom in vaping is the most likely explanation.

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The new report builds on evidence that youth e-cigarette use raises the risk of graduating to combustible cigarettes, he said. These products may be sold online and in retail without age verification and are a serious threat to efforts to fight underage e-cigarette use prevalence.

"E-cigarettes could be playing a role in the patterns of use we're seeing among kids in terms of cigarette smoking", he said, adding, "It is possible that we are reinforcing and perpetuating dependency". In addition, the frequency in which high school e-cigarette users were using these products increased by almost 40 percent between 2017 and 2018. "Indeed, if anything, the evidence to date indicates that e-cigarettes could increase the number of kids who smoke cigarettes".

Around 4.9 million middle and high school students used tobacco in 2018. "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".

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The e-cigarette market has become attractive to traditional tobacco companies.

Sales of Juul, which is a high nicotine e-cigarette with vaping liquid contained in pods resembling USB devices, increased by approximately 600% during 2016-2017 and increased even further in 2018. "I fear this trend will continue in 2019, forcing us to make some tough decisions about the regulatory status of e-cigarettes". The most common combination in both groups was use of e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes. Men also used tobacco products more frequently than women.

Products manufactured by Juul have been shown to be especially attractive to minors because they come in fruity flavors such as mango, mint, and fruit and creme. "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".

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Last week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote a letter to JUUL chief executive Kevin Burns requesting a meeting. Since then, Gottlieb said that JUUL appears to be backtracking from previous statements about reducing youth use. In return, Altria got 35% of Juul. But the FDA appears concerned that the merger would have the opposite effect.

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