For decades, the number of kids and teenagers using tobacco products had been declining.
Recently, however, electronic cigarettes have soared in popularity among young adults, undoing years of progress in youth tobacco control efforts.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control reveals 4.9 million middle and high school students use some form of tobacco. That number was 3.6 million only two years ago.
Some are trying to take action. Interventions like price hikes, stronger restrictions on kids’ ability to buy e-cigarettes and mass media campaigns are some of the efforts used to bring this number down again.
The problem doesn’t stop with e-cigarettes. The CDC report also found many teenagers are smoking regular cigarettes as well.
The Food and Drug Administration has threatened to ban flavored e-cigarettes unless manufacturers come up with a solid plan to keep them out of kids’ hands, as nearly all smokers begin as teenagers.