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CDC: E-cigarette Use Among Young People Tops Regular Cigarettes

Photo: Young people in Utah and across the U.S. are using e-cigarettes more than all other forms of tobacco, including regular cigarettes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Photo: Young people in Utah and across the U.S. are using e-cigarettes more than all other forms of tobacco, including regular cigarettes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
April 27, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY - E-cigarette use among young people in Utah and across the U.S. is topping regular cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that for the first time in the history of its National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use is higher than all other forms of tobacco, including cigarettes. CDC director Tom Frieden says the increased popularity of the product is working against other progress made in the fight against cigarette smoking.

"Big picture here is, we're seeing a striking increase," says Frieden. "It's very concerning. It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking, which we've seen occurring in the last few years. "

The CDC estimates that last year there were 2.4 million e-cigarette youth users and an estimated 1.6 million youth who used hookahs, the large pipes used to smoke flavored tobacco. Those numbers tripled since 2011.

Brian King, deputy director for research translation with the CDC's Office on Smoking and Health, says the various flavors offered with e-cigarettes and hookah tobacco make them an interesting option to young people.

"Hookah, like e-cigarettes, are not regulated, although they have proposed to be regulated, and they're still available in flavors, particularly kid-friendly flavors that can increase appeal and access," says King.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT