CDC study finds spike in teens using e-cigarettes

(NBC News) E-cigarettes have jumped in popularity among teenagers in recent years, and now a new report released finds more teens are smoking e-cigarettes than conventional cigarettes.

Just nine-percent of high school students said they smoked cigarettes last year, a significant decline from nearly 16-percent in 2011, but it seems they’re simply replacing conventional cigarettes with electronic cigarettes. Both contain nicotine.

“Nicotine is, we know for sure, an addictive product. Put into the hands of teenagers who are more susceptible to addictive products, and this is a problem,” points out Dr. David Tinkelman of National Jewish Health.

The Centers for Disease Control published findings from the latest “National Youth Tobacco Survey.”

It asked 22,000 teens whether they’d used tobacco within the past month.

The percentage of kids trying e-cigarettes tripled in a short period of time, from four-and-a-half percent in 2013 to more than 13-percent a year later.

“The fact that youth are even experimenting with these products, which we know can have lasting effects on their developing brain, can cause addiction and can lead to sustained tobacco use is concerning to us,” warns Dr. Brian King of the Centers for Disease Control’s Office on Smoking and Health.

The Food and Drug Administration has power over conventional cigarettes, but not e-cigarettes, which have exploded in popularity in recent years.

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