The dramatic rise in electronic cigarette use among middle- and high school students in 2018 is responsible for the largest single year increase in youth tobacco usage ever recorded, reversing a decades-long downward trend in use, the CDC confirms.
The study has compared new heated tobacco devices, which heat solid tobacco instead of an e-liquid, with vaping and traditional cigarettes showing that all the three are toxic to the cells. "It's putting a new generation at risk for nicotine addiction", says CDC Director Robert Redfield. Other federal studies have shown e-cigarette use alone jumped by 77 percent past year.
In response to the CDC's study, Jennifer Hunter, Altria's client services senior vice president, corporate citizenship, said kids should never be using tobacco products.
"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.
Further, among current tobacco product users, almost 2 in 5 high school students and 1 in 3 middle school students reportedly use more than one tobacco products. The data also indicate that many youth tobacco product users use multiple products, with about 2 in 5 high school students and 1 in 3 middle school students reporting use of two or more tobacco products in 2018.
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 past year. In the past, Gottlieb has said that he would consider halting sales of e-cigarettes while companies go through the FDA review.
The JUUL is shaped like a USB flash drive and is easy to hide, the CDC noted.
Vaping began to take off among the young in the 2010s, and overtook cigarette smoking in 2014. He added that if the trend continues in 2019, tough decisions will have to be made regarding the regulation of e-cigarettes.
It's also taking a look at whether flavours of e-cigarette juice should be sold in the country. Last year, 27.1% of high school students and 7.2% of middle school students reported current use of a tobacco product, with e-cigarettes the most popular among both groups, used by 20.8% and 4.9%, respectively.
The report also showed that those who use e-cigarettes are using them more frequently.
The FDA is now being sued by a group of health campaigners for delaying e-cigarette regulations meant to go into effect early in the Trump presidency.
The findings were published February 11 in the CDC publication Vital Signs.
"E-cigarettes could be playing a role in the patterns of use we're seeing among kids in terms of cigarette smoking", he said, adding, "It is possible that we are reinforcing and perpetuating dependency".
The CDC said the ongoing rise in vaping among teens threatens to undo past progress in reducing rates of tobacco use among minors.
"Legislators and policy-makers are responding, but we need rapid action to ban advertising to youth including through social media outlets, restrict purchases including online, raise the age of purchasing nicotine products to 21, ban vaping in places where tobacco is prohibited, and ensure that nicotine vaping products are taxed like other tobacco products", he continued.