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Following decades of efforts to curb cigarette smoking by teens, a new study suggests that vaping with electronic cigarettes has become the most popular form of tobacco use among teens in the U.S., despite about the potential health risks with e-cigarettes as well.
A new report released late last month by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that e-cigarettes are the most popular method of tobacco use among youth in the country. The findings were announced at the end of the year in the CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Data was taken from the 2015 National Youth Tobacco Survey which surveys a sampling of the nation’s middle schools, grades 6 to 8, and high schools, grades 9 to 12.
CDC researchers found that nearly 14% of middle school students, and 38% of high school students reported having ever used e-cigarettes. Among use in the last 30 days from when the survey was taken, five percent of middle schoolers and 16% of high school students reported having used vaping devices.
Overall, the most popular form of e-cigarette use was rechargeable or refillable versions. More than 53% of teens reported using that type of vape. This compares to about 15% who reported using only disposable e-cigarettes and 32% who said they use both types of e-cigarettes.
Researchers report one-third of teens also indicated they had used vaping e-cigs for substances other than nicotine.
The findings come as more research emerges warning that there may be many health risks linked to e-cigarettes.
A study published in 2015 indicated teen e-cigarette use was on the rise, as use by the nations youth had tripled in the preceding year. Last month, the U.S. Surgeon General called vaping a “major public health concern” for teens, citing the negative and addictive effects of e-cigarettes on the health of the nations youth.
A study published in November concluded teens who used e-cigarettes were more likely to experience respiratory symptoms, like coughing, bronchitis and chronic phlegm, than teens who didn’t use the devices.
The CDC warns that preventing teens from using e-cigarettes is vital to preventing future teen tobacco use of any kind. Research published in 2014 suggested teens who used e-cigarettes were more likely to later smoke traditional nicotine cigarettes. Research published in the journal Pediatrics in November concluded teens who used flavored e-cigarettes were also more likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes in the future.