E-Cigarette Use Doubles Among Middle & High School Students

Sep 6, 2013

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Twice as many middle and high school students are using electronic cigarettes.

That's according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control. 

The survey shows e-cigarette use doubled from nearly 5 percent in 2011 to 10 percent in 2012 - among high school students. Use among middle school students jumped  from 1.4 percent to nearly 2.7 percent.

The director of the Greater Rochester Area Tobacco Cessation Center, Dr. Scott McIntosh, says he blames the increase on how manufacturers market the e-device as being a less harmful than regular cigarettes and "cool".

"Nearly 80-percent of e-cigarette users are also using traditional cigarettes," says McIntosh. "So if someone starts their nicotine addiction on e-cigarettes, there's a high likelihood they will try traditional cigarettes and get addicted to those."

The report found that more than three-quarters of middle and high school students who had used e-cigarettes within the past month also had smoked traditional cigarettes during the same period.

E-cigarettes are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

So it's up to manufactures to determine how much nicotine and chemicals they want to use, McIntosh says.

The CDC and FDA say they are continuing to research e-cigarettes, given the rapid increase of use among youth, to develop strategies to prevent marketing and sales.