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Report: E-Cigs Now Top Choice For Young People

Photo: While cigarette smoking rates have gone down, the use of e-cigarettes has more than made up for that decrease, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo credit: jakemaheu/WikimediaCommons.
Photo: While cigarette smoking rates have gone down, the use of e-cigarettes has more than made up for that decrease, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo credit: jakemaheu/WikimediaCommons.
April 30, 2015

LANSING, Mich. - Experts say it's a disturbing trend as e-cigarette use among young people in Michigan and across the U.S. is topping regular cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports for the first time in the history of its National Youth Tobacco Survey, e-cigarette use is higher than all other forms of tobacco.

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

The CDC estimates 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.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI