CDC: e-cigarettes to blame for shift in youth smoking habits

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBCNC) – The soaring popularity of e-cigarettes is undoing years of progress in youth tobacco control efforts. That’s according to a new government report released Monday.

For decades, the number of kids and teenagers lighting up kept falling. But that’s all changing.

Dr. Brian King works with the CDC Office on Smoking and Health. He said, “That progress that we’ve made over the past years has been completely erased. And it’s a primary result of e-cigarettes.”

In a new report, the CDC blames electronic cigarettes for an increase in teen tobacco use.

4.9 million middle and high school students use some form of tobacco, up from 3.6 million just two years ago.

Dr. King explained, “This recent surge in e-cigarette use has ultimately been a call for action for the public health community to ensure that our evidence-based interventions affect the diversity of products that kids are using.” Interventions like tobacco price hikes, stronger restrictions on kids’ ability to buy e-cigarettes, and mass media campaigns from non-profits, truth initiative.

In fact, the new CDC report finds many teenagers are smoking both e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. Nearly all smokers begin during adolescence.

The Food and Drug Administration has threatened to ban flavored e-cigarettes unless manufacturers come up with a solid plan to keep them out of kids’ hands.

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