2.4 Million Teens Try E-Cigarettes, Three Times as Many as Last Year; the Number of Teens Smoking Tobacco Products Has Increased for the First Time in a Generation

By Westcott, Lucy | Newsweek, May 8, 2015 | Go to article overview

2.4 Million Teens Try E-Cigarettes, Three Times as Many as Last Year; the Number of Teens Smoking Tobacco Products Has Increased for the First Time in a Generation


Westcott, Lucy, Newsweek


Byline: Lucy Westcott

E-cigarette use among teenagers has tripled since 2013, and the number of teens smoking tobacco products has increased for the first time in a generation, according to a study released on Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report found a "striking increase" in the number of students using e-cigarettes and hookah pipes from 2013 to 2014. More than 2.4 million middle and high school students now smoke e-cigarettes, up from 780,000 the year prior, while the number who smoke hookah doubled to 1.5 million.

For the first time since the CDC started recording data for their use in 2011, e-cigarettes have surpassed any other form of tobacco in terms of popularity, according to the report.

"We're having to play Whack-A-Mole with different tobacco products," said Tom Frieden, director of the CDC, during a press briefing on Thursday.

He added that tobacco use is dangerous at any age and "nicotine addiction is usually a lifelong challenge."

Illnesses from tobacco use are the leading preventable causes of death in the U.S., according to the CDC. Tobacco is particularly addictive among teens, whose brains are still developing during middle and high school.

"Seeing this uptick in the number of kids using these tobacco products in just one year--is deeply alarming," said Frieden, adding that memory and attention deficits have been linked to smoking during adolescence. …

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