Number of Teens Puffing on E-Cigs Doubles

One in 10 high schoolers report trying them, and right now, that's legal

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 5, 2013 2:39 PM CDT

(Newser) – The number of teenagers who at least tried an electronic cigarette doubled last year, with one in 10 doing so, according to new figures from the CDC. "This is really taking off among kids," the CDC's director tells the New York Times. Middle schools saw a jump, too, with usage increasing from 1.4% to 2.7%. In many places, it's even legal. Though two dozen states have moved to ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, the rest haven't, and the FDA is still considering how to regulate them, the Wall Street Journal reports.

E-cigs may be much less harmful than regular cigarettes, but anti-smoking advocates fear they'll lead to kids getting hooked on the old-fashioned burning variety. Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes can advertise freely, and come in kid-friendly flavors like strawberry and chocolate. So far 93% of high school students who tried e-cigarettes say they'd already smoked traditional ones. Among middle schoolers, however, that number fell to about 80%. The figures help explain why the e-cig business is booming.

  (Shutterstock)
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