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E-cigarette use continues alarming climb among teens

At a time when vaping has been directly linked to more than 1,000 serious lung illnesses and several deaths across the country, results of the most recent Monitoring the Future survey of high school students are also extremely troubling. Data from the national survey of students in the eighth, 10th and 12th grades shows that the number of teens who use e-cigarettes has doubled over just the last two years.

Researchers from the University of Michigan, who conduct the annual survey, released their 2019 results early, in order to notify public health officials about the fast-growing scope of this problem.

The new survey results show a significant increase in young people in all three grades who said they had vaped nicotine over the past month. In 2019, the prevalence of past-month nicotine vaping was more than 25% of 12th graders, up from 11% in 2017. Twenty percent of 10th graders and 9% of eighth graders reported recent e-cigarette use.

Nearly 12% of high school seniors said they vape nicotine daily or almost daily, which the researchers said shows a rapid “development of nicotine addiction” among American youth.

“The use of these devices has become a public health crisis,” said Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which funds the survey. “These products introduce the highly addictive chemical nicotine to these young people and their developing brains, and I fear we are only beginning to learn the possible health risks and outcomes for youth.”

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