Updated on May 28, 2022
HealthDay operates under the strictest editorial standards. Our syndicated news content is completely independent of any financial interests, is based solely on industry-respected sources and the latest scientific research, and is carefully fact-checked by a team of industry experts to ensure accuracy.
- All articles are edited and checked for factual accuracy by our Editorial Team prior to being published.
- Unless otherwise noted, all articles focusing on new research are based on studies published in peer-reviewed journals or issued from independent and respected medical associations, academic groups and governmental organizations.
- Each article includes a link or reference to the original source.
- Any known potential conflicts of interest associated with a study or source are made clear to the reader.
Please see our Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy for more detail.Editorial and Fact-Checking Policy
HealthDay Editorial Commitment
HeathDay is committed to maintaining the highest possible levels of impartial editorial standards in the content that we present on our website. All of our articles are chosen independent of any financial interests. Editors and writers make all efforts to clarify any financial ties behind the studies on which we report.
THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- More than 20 percent of high school students use electronic cigarettes, risking nicotine addiction, lung damage and the temptation to try traditional smokes, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.
Between 2011 and 2018, the number of high school teens who started vaping, as e-cigarette use is called, increased from 220,000 (1.5 percent) to just over 3 million (20.8 percent), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"These new data show that America faces an epidemic of youth e-cigarette use, which threatens to engulf a new generation in nicotine addiction," Alex Azar, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), said in a news release.
Those startling statistics have prompted federal health officials to take action.
On Thursday, U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb announced that his agency was seeking to stop the sale of flavored e-cigarettes other than mint and menthol flavors to minors.
His proposals include having stores that sell vaping products make them available only in age-restricted areas. In addition, Gottlieb called for stricter age verification for e-cigarettes sold online.
"By one measure, the rate of youth e-cigarette use almost doubled in the last year, which confirms the need for FDA's ongoing policy proposals and enforcement actions. HHS's work will continue to balance the need to prevent youth use of e-cigarettes with ensuring they are available as an off-ramp for adults who are trying to quit combustible [tobacco] cigarettes," Azar said.
The findings were reported in the Nov. 16 issue of the CDC publication Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
"The youth use of e-cigarettes is at an epidemic level. It's truly troubling," said Erika Sward, assistant vice president for national advocacy at the American Lung Association.
E-cigarettes are a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes, she said. Moreover, chemicals in them can cause lung damage and result in addiction to nicotine.
According to the new report, e-cigarette use among high school students increased 78 percent from 2017 to 2018.
During the same year, the use of flavored e-cigarettes among high school students already using e-cigarettes increased from 61 percent to 68 percent.
In addition, the use of menthol or mint-flavored e-cigarettes rose from 42 percent of all e-cigarette users to 51 percent.
E-cigarette use also increased among middle school students, from less than 1 percent in 2011 to nearly 5 percent in 2018, researchers found.
"FDA has to act, but we also need state and local government to act as well," Sward said. "This is too big for everybody not to have a role in reducing the use of e-cigarettes."
Sward said the lung association is upset that the FDA stopped short of banning mint and menthol e-cigarettes. "FDA's plan is not going to go far enough," she noted.
Many teens use mint and menthol e-cigarettes, which Sward believes are specifically marketed to attract minors.
"The tobacco industry knows that mint and menthol help the poison go down," she said. "And they have been using menthol cigarettes to addict millions of people for decades, and that trend has tragically continued with e-cigarettes."
Visit the American Lung Association for more on e-cigarettes.
This story may be outdated. We suggest some alternatives.
The content contained in this article is over two years old. As such our recommendation is that you reference the articles below for the latest updates on this topic. This article has been left on our site as a matter of historic record. Please contact us at email@example.com with any questions.