More than 2.5 million US children use e-cigarettes – rising a half-million from last year and reversing downward trends in recent years.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 2.55 million Americans in middle or high school admit using the device in the past 30 days.
It is a jump of 500,000, or of 24 per cent, from 2021. It is the first increase since the CDC started gathering annual data in 2019.
Disposable devices that can contain as much nicotine as up to 50 cigarettes are most common – with 55 percent of e-cigarette users puffing on them.
A vast majority, 85 per cent, report using flavored e-cigarette products that federal regulators have made a push to crack down on in recent years.
More than 14 per cent of high schoolers and three per cent of the youth are using the devices.
Experts warn that use of the highly addictive devices are extremely dangerous for young people even though they do not contain tobacco.
The nicotine and other chemicals like diacetyl in the device can cause long-term damage to the lungs and expose users to risk of conditions like COPD, studies find.
More than 2.5 million US children use e-cigarettes – rising a half-million from last year and reversing downward trends in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC ) reports that 2.55 million Americans in middle or high school admit using the device in the past 30 days. It is a jump of 500,000, or of 24 per cent, from 2021. It is the first increase since the CDC started gathering annual data in 2019
The CDC published the findings Thursday as part of the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey.
It represents the first year-over-year increase in e-cigarette use among US youth since 2019. Just over two million reported use in 2021.
Use of the devices has still halved over the past three years, down from 5.4 million users in middle and high school in 2019.
Still, officials worry that the recent increases in prevalence of the devices spells out a long-term issue.
‘This study shows that our nation’s youth continue to be enticed and hooked by an expanding variety of e-cigarette brands delivering flavored nicotine,’ said Dr Deirdre Lawrence Kittner, director of CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health, said in a statement.
‘Our work is far from over. It’s critical that we work together to prevent youth from starting to use any tobacco product – including e-cigarettes – and help all youth who do use them, to quit.’
The report found that 84.9 per cent of those who reported regular use of the devices were using flavored e-cigarette flavors.
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned fruit flavored e-cigarette devices.
To stay on the market, each company was forced to apply individually to allow their products to remain on shelves.
Juul Labs, whose products became the face of the dangerous underage smoking trend after they shot to popularity in the 2010s, had its application rejected by the FDA in June.
The devices were temporarily pulled from shelves before the FDA issued a stay on its decision to give the agency time to review more scientific evidence.
Regular vaping can cause damage to the airways of a person’s lungs – giving them symptoms similar to asthma
Regular vape users could be putting themselves at risk of suffering obstructions to their lungs’ airways and asthma like symptoms, a new study finds.
Researchers at Harvard University found that chronic vapers were suffering severe lung damage after years of using the devices – a worrying prospect as prevalence of the devices grows among teenagers and young adults.
Nearly 10 percent of Americans – and more than one-in-ten high schoolers – are regular e-cigarette users, according to official figures.
The devices have been the target of regulators during the Biden administration, with many fearing that their proliferation will cause a surge in lung issues like cancer, popcorn lung, and COPD in the coming decades.
‘Our investigation shows that chronic pathological abnormalities can occur in vaping exposure,’ Dr David Christiani, a professor of medicine at Harvard and senior author of the study, said in a statement.
‘Adolescent e-cigarette use in the United States remains at concerning levels, and poses a serious public health risk to our nation’s youth,’ said Dr Brian King, director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products, said in a statement.
‘Protecting our nation’s youth from the dangers of tobacco products— including e-cigarettes—remains among the FDA’s highest priorities.’
Among users, 27.6 per cent said that they puffed on their e-cigarette each day. Just over 40 per cent reported using it at least 20 or more of the last 30 days.
Experts are alarmed by the prevalence of nicotine use among young people in America.
Dr Panagis Galiatsatos, director of the Tobacco Treatment Clinic at John’s Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, told DailyMail.com last month that these devices could fuel a future health crisis.
‘The lungs are still growing [in younger age groups],’ he explained.
‘Your lungs really continue rolling up until about the age of 35. So if you’re introducing things that are causing pulmonary symptoms that early, you’re setting up to be chronic patients.
‘Maybe there’s a reversibility to it, if we can get them off the products, but if they continue to use it we’re looking at a permanent damage that may be irreversible.’
Many are unaware of the dangers of the devices.
While use of e-cigarettes has not been linked to cancer in the same way that cigarettes have, Galiatsatos warns that other conditions like ‘popcorn lung’, COPD and asthma could strike frequent vapers.
‘There are plenty of other scary non cancer things that can happen to the lungs when you introduce noxious chemicals,’ he explained.
‘That should always gain our concern. Right? Chronic lung diseases are a top three causes of global deaths around the world.’
The Biden administration has targeted flavored tobacco and nicotine over the past two years.
In addition to the flavored-vape ban, the FDA also restricted sales of menthol cigarettes earlier this year.