Youth Smoking Rate Stops Dropping after Decades of Declines

US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams gives a statement on the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers in Washington,DC on Dec 18 2018

US Surgeon General Dr Jerome Adams gives a statement on the use of e-cigarettes by teenagers in Washington,DC on Dec 18 2018

The researchers found that cigarette smoke and heated tobacco vapour were both toxic to lung cells - and so was e-cigarette vapour at high concentrations. That pushed their overall tobacco use rate from 19.6 percent to 27.1 percent in 2018.

"People skip class to vape", said Grade 10 student Sophie Verbake.

While the number of middle and high school cigarette smokers has been falling steadily since 2011, the number of vapers has increased dramatically, from 1.5 percent to the 20.8 percent previous year. Cigar use experienced a similar trend, with current usage also around 8 percent of students.

"Unlike tobacco, electronic cigarettes are not regulated, and from what we know nicotine is already addicting and these electronic cigarettes contain more nicotine than cigarettes", said Robinson.

We do not have a clear idea about the long-term effects of these substances since e-cigarettes have only been in use for 15 years or so. Across high school student users in 2018, any tobacco product use was reported at 32.4% for non-Hispanic whites.

There may be several reasons, but a recent boom in vaping is the most likely explanation, said Brian King of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The new report builds on evidence that youth e-cigarette use raises the risk of graduating to combustible cigarettes, he said.

Cigarette smoking rates have stopped falling among US kids, and health officials believe youth vaping is responsible. In 2018, the CDC said there was an increase in tobacco use, prompted by e-cigarettes, by 4.9 million teenagers.

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The nicotine in e-cigarettes also pose other health hazards, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC's principal deputy director. Men also used tobacco products more frequently than women. However, there were 1.5 million more youth e-cigarette users a year ago compared with 2017, and those who were vaping used the devices more often.

"JUUL also has a high nicotine content, among the highest of any e-cigarette on the US market", King continued.

"This increase-driven by a surge in e-cigarette use-erased past progress in reducing youth tobacco product use", the CDC said.

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.

Juul flavors such as mango, fruit and creme will now only be available on the company's website, where it said it was adding additional age-verification measures.

Last week, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb wrote a letter to JUUL chief executive Kevin Burns requesting a meeting. E-cigarette maker Juul recently got a $12.8 billion investment from cigarette giant Altria.

Previously, JUUL had promised FDA that it would limit its marketing, including by ending social media accounts that could be appealing to youth.

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