The use of e-cigarettes and hookah has markedly increased among teens in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.
The CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Tobacco Products have reported that the rate of tobacco use has not changed at all in the last four years, and it may be due to the rising popularity of e-cigarettes.
The rate of e-cig use among high school students rose from 1.5 percent in 2011 to a staggering 16 percent in 2015. Teens who reported using e-cigarettes increased to 3 million in 2015, up by half a million in 2014.
The data showed that 4.7 million adolescents were using tobacco products in 2015. Out of that number, more than half used e-cigs.
About 8.6 percent of the teens reported smoking cigars, 7.2 percent used hookahs and 6 percent used smokeless tobacco.
"E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, and use continues to climb," said Dr. Tom Frieden, CDC director.
He added that no form of youth tobacco is deemed safe because it contains nicotine, an addictive chemical that may cause long-term harm to brain development especially among teens.
Will E-Cigs Cause Fewer Teens To Smoke Cigarettes?
According to some experts, it is too early to say if the trend in the use of e-cigs would lead to fewer people turning to cigarette smoking.
This could mean that teens may have been using e-cigarettes more than tobacco. Federal policy makers are worried that the increased use of these electronic devices could lead to a higher risk of teens to shift to actual tobacco products, but that does not seem to be happening just yet.
Not The First Warning
In the past, CDC has warned people in the United States about teens using e-cigs, which produce vaporized liquid nicotine. The agency recently announced that an estimated 18.3 million adolescents had been exposed to advertisements about these battery-powered devices in 2014.
These flavored devices are appealing to teens. If no regulations on the use of such devices are made, the rate is expected to rise.
U.S. health experts have warned on the use of e-cigarettes and their possible effect on the health of users. In the United Kingdom, however, health officials believe that the use of these devices could help many individuals who want to quit smoking but have failed through other methods.
Photo: Lindsay Fox | EcigaretteReviewed.com