CDC: E-cig use triples over last year among adolescents, teens

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E-cigarettes have surpassed every other tobacco product in popularity among high schoolers and middle schoolers, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Not only that: The battery-operatedcigarettes, which release a vapor with flavorings and nicotine instead of smoke, tripled in use among young adults in 2014over the year before, the CDC found in its 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey.

And as e-cig use increased, use of tobacco increased in general among teens and middle schoolers: Just 4.5 percent of young adults had used a tobacco product in the last 30 days in 2013– while 13.4 percent used one in 2014.

Second to e-cigs in popularity among young adults was hookah, which many people believe is safer than cigarettes, according to another CDC study. According to the CDC, one hour of smoking hookah is the equivalent of smoking 160 to 180 cigarettes.

What does it mean when a young adult starts using tobacco products?

“Adolescence is a critical time for brain development,”said CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden in a statement. “Nicotine exposure at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addiction, and lead to sustained tobacco use.”

Also significant is that three out of four teen smokers continue smoking as adults, according to the CDC.

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