Federal health officials say the nicotine-based products pose major health threat to kids
WebMD News from HealthDay
By Dennis Thompson
THURSDAY, April 16, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- E-cigarettes are booming among U.S. teens, with nearly 2.5 million middle and high school students now choosing to "vape" rather than smoke traditional cigarettes or indulge in other forms of tobacco, federal health officials reported Thursday.
E-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, making the nicotine-delivery devices the most popular tobacco product now used by American teens, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
This is the first time e-cigs have surpassed in teen popularity every other tobacco product, a trend that CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden called "deeply alarming."
"We're seeing a striking increase. It's very concerning," Frieden said during a media briefing. "It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking which we've seen over the last few years."
There has been no decline in overall tobacco use among teens, so it appears that newer products like e-cigarettes and hookahs are offsetting traditional products like cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco, the CDC reported in its April 17 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Marketing spent for e-cigarettes tripled each year between 2011 and 2013, as tobacco companies bought up leading e-cigarette companies and shifted their attention to the new product, Frieden said.
He described the marketing as "Mad Men comes to e-cigarettes," with companies plying teens with free samples and offering products with fruit and candy flavors.
"It's straight out of the playbook of what was done for cigarettes in the 1950s," Frieden said. "We need to stop before another generation gets hooked on nicotine."
E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that use heat to transform liquid chemicals into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. E-cigarette liquid very often contains nicotine, as well as many different types of flavors.
Overall rates of any tobacco product use were 24.6 percent for high school students and 7.7 percent for middle school students in 2014, the CDC found. That amounts to 4.6 million middle and high school students, and represents an increase of 400,000 kids from the prior year, Frieden said.
source : E-Cigarette Use Triples Among U.S. Teens in 1 Year