More than 4m high schoolers and 1m middle schoolers vape, study shows

Grant Boone
November 7, 2019

Three years ago, only about one in ten high school students reported having recently used e-cigarettes.

Often used as an alternative to traditional smoking practice, using an e-cigarette to vape has become the norm, and has even provoked the production of vaping competitions and events worldwide. That amounts to 5.3 million young users, compared with about 3.6 million previous year, despite federal law that prohibits sales to those under 18.

A separate study, led by University of Southern California researchers, suggests menthol doesn't have the same appeal as mint. According to the data, mint and mango were ranked first and second, respectively, among 10th and 12th graders, while mango was the most popular among 8th graders, followed by mint.

Boulder's measure would set a 40 percent sales tax on vaping products and has 81 percent voting yes in early returns.

"These products are still getting to kids and we can not let a whole generation get addicted to them through mint and menthol and other flavors", Azar said when the ban was initially proposed.

E-cigarettes typically heat a solution that contains nicotine, which makes cigarettes and e-cigarettes addictive.

To further crack down on retailers selling tobacco and vaping products to underage youth, the New York State Police department is partnering with the Department of Health to conduct undercover investigations across the state under The Adolescent Tobacco Use Prevention Act, which enlists underage youth to attempt to buy tobacco and e-cigarette products.

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Erika Sward, spokeswoman for the American Lung Association, said the findings "call for drastic action to be taken".

Is E-Cigarette use on the rise in the US? The Food and Drug Administration is expected to issue guidance on the policy this week.

But health groups and anti-vaping advocates worry that regulators may be backing away from their original proposal. It has continued to sell tobacco, menthol and mint flavors.

Flavors are banned for traditional cigarettes in the USA, except for menthol. They do not have jurisdiction over vaping and vape shops, for example.

Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway noted that teenagers like vaping mint and fruit-flavored products, but tobacco and menthol flavored products remain unpopular among youth users - a claim supported by a National Institutes of Health-funded study published Tuesday. Amid all of this, there has been a huge push back by vapers against the proposed ban.

Juul representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new research.

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