Use of E-Cigarettes Rises Sharply Among Teenagers, Report Says

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(The New York Times – by Sabrina Tavernise)  Kenny, stuff a high school senior in Weston, hospital Fla., for sale likes to puff e-cigarettes during study sessions with friends after school. James, a senior in Fauquier County, Va., uses them outside at lunch with friends who do smoke tricks. Tom, a sophomore from Westchester County, uses them while hiking with friends.

E-cigarettes have arrived in the life of the American teenager.

Use of the devices among middle- and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to federal data released on Thursday, bringing the share of high school students who use them to 13 percent — more than smoke traditional cigarettes.

About a quarter of all high school students and 8 percent of middle school students — 4.6 million young people altogether — used tobacco in some form last year. The sharp rise of e-cigarettes, together with a substantial increase in the use of hookah pipes, led to 400,000 additional young people using a tobacco product in 2014, the first increase in years, though researchers pointed out the percentage of the rise fell within the report’s margin of error.

But the report also told another story. From 2011 to 2014, the share of high school students who smoked traditional cigarettes declined substantially, to 9 percent from 16 percent, and use of cigars and pipes ebbed too. The shift suggested that some teenage smokers may be using e-cigarettes to quit.

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