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E-Cigarette Use Among Young People Tops Regular Cigarettes

PHOTO: Young people in Iowa and across the nation are using e-cigarettes more than all other forms of tobacco, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo credit: Chris F/Flickr.
PHOTO: Young people in Iowa and across the nation are using e-cigarettes more than all other forms of tobacco, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo credit: Chris F/Flickr.
April 28, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa - Use of e-cigarettes among young people in Iowa and across the United States is topping regular cigarettes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 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 use, including cigarettes.

CDC director Tom Frieden said 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," he said. "It's very concerning. It more than counterbalances the decrease in cigarette smoking, which we've seen occurring over the last few years."

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

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

Last year, the CDC estimated, 2.4 million youths were users of e-cigarettes, and an estimated 1.6 million young people who used hookahs, the large pipes used to smoke flavored tobacco. The agency said those numbers have tripled since 2011.

The report is online at cdc.gov.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA