Teens' Use of E-Cigarettes Continues to Grow

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Since "vape" is the Oxford Dictionary's word of 2014, this news may not be too surprising. At the same time, it's pretty alarming. New studies show that teen use of e-cigarettes continues to rise. While some may think e-cigs are safer than regular cigarettes, these electronic devices still contain nicotine, a highly addictive chemical that can affect the developing brain. Studies also suggest e-cigarettes can be a gateway drug.

According to a story on USA Today, 25 percent of high school students in Connecticut have used e-cigs, along with 29 percent in Hawaii. This means the amount of teens using e-cigs is far higher than the averages previously reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

USA Today reports:

Authors of the Hawaii study, published online Monday in Pediatrics, note that e-cigarette use has grown exponentially among kids, doubling every year since 2009.

While these numbers continue to grow, there aren't nay regulations on these products by the Food and Drug Administration. There are proposed rules, but none that are set in place just yet. Currently 40 states have banned the sale of e-cigs to minors under 18.

For more about e-cigarettes, keep an eye out for a story in the February issue of Choices! The article explores things teens think they know about e-cigs, versus what is actually true.

Choices is a health, well-being, and life skills magazine for middle and high school students. Click here to learn more, including how to subscribe.